Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker.
Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker. NIKKI SHORT

Hartsuyker not backing calls for royal commission

MEMBER for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker isn't impressed by his counterpart Kevin Hogan's call for a royal commission into supermarkets and petrol retailing.

He can't see what a royal commission can uncover that several enquiries have been unable to; and in relation to the supermarkets he says the ACCC is the "cop on that beat".

Member for Page Mr Hogan this week confirmed he would be moving a Notice of Motion in Parliament calling for a royal commission with terms of reference covering the alleged misuse of market power by Australia's supermarkets, and petrol retailing in Australia.

Mr Hogan says it's not unusual for there to be a 20 to 30 cent per litre differential between petrol prices in the city and in country and regional areas.

"This is not explainable by transport costs or any other cost input."

And with larger supermarket chains - Woolworths, Coles, ALDI - controlling more than 76 per cent of the industry, he believes allegations of misuse of market power, unconscionable conduct and the use of unfair contract terms must be investigated by a royal commission.

While he hopes his colleagues will support him, he intends to use his position on the crossbench to move the motion forward.

Mr Hogan moved to the crossbench following the Liberal Party spill of then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

He intends to speak to his parliamentary colleagues over the next few days regarding the motion, but said he would use his position to get it through.

But Mr Hartsuyker does not appear to be backing the move saying:

"There have been hundreds and hundreds of inquiries into fuel pricing and they have failed to shed any light on to that dark art," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"It's hard to see what a Royal Commission could uncover that these countless enquiries have not."

But Mr Hogan insists a royal commission is the way to go, saying enquires do not have enough "teeth".

In relation to allegations of misuse of market power, unconscionable conduct and the use of unfair contract terms by Australia's supermarkets Mr Hartsuyker is similarly unconvinced that a royal commission will have an impact.

"The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is the cop on the beat with that one and they are best placed to look at that issue."



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