FED-UP Nationals will take advantage of their own minority government to bring on a royal commission into petrol prices and supermarket duopolies, Coles and Woolworths.
The push, being led by Kevin Hogan plus Queenslanders Llew O’Brien and George Christensen, will cause another headache for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is running out of time for clear air on key policies ahead of the next election.
It is understood the MPs are also trying to rope in renegade Queenslander Bob Katter to support a notice of motion to be put to Parliament next week. It will require a suspension of standing orders, and not something government tacticians have so far planned for. The Courier-Mail understands Mr Hogan will move the motion, which will be seconded by Mr O’Brien. It is understood Labor will support it, but will not initiate it.
“I hear enough stories from our farmers and processors that warrant a royal commission into our major supermarkets,’’ Mr Hogan said.
“The allegations of misuse of market power, unconscionable conduct and the use of unfair contract terms must be investigated by a royal commission. With petrol retailing, I am sick of regional and country retail petrol prices being higher than city prices.
“With very little public transport options in the country and the longer distances travelled, it is a huge impost on country people (and) I have questioned the ACCC and others on this and have never had a reasonable explanation.”
Mr O’Brien, who forced a royal commission into banks on to then PM Malcolm Turnbull and then treasurer Scott Morrison, used Parliament in October to demand a showdown with the duopolies over the milk prices.
A dairy industry leader has also called for a royal commission into supermarkets and how they deal with suppliers.
Brian Tessmann from the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation said he believed a judicial inquiry may be required to uncover improprieties by the big chains.
Extracted from Herald Sun