MP calls out alleged misuse of supermarket power
FEDERAL Member for Page Kevin Hogan is 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.
"I will be moving a Notice of Motion in Parliament next week calling on a Royal Commission with Terms of Reference that cover these two areas," Mr Hogan said.
"I hear enough stories from our farmers and processors that warrant a Royal Commission into our major supermarkets. The allegations of misuse of market power, unconscionable conduct and the use of unfair contract terms must be investigated by a Royal Commission."
And while he told The Daily Examiner yesterday he hopes his colleagues will support him, he will use his position on the crossbench to move the motion forward.
"I'm hoping it will get widespread support in the parliament, but I'll do whatever I need to get this up," he said.
Mr Hogan said he believed a royal commission would lead to recommendations that would also help stop the discrepancy between metropolitan and regional fuel pricing.
"I am sick of regional and country retail petrol prices being higher than city prices. It is not unusual for there to be a 20-30 cent per litre differential. This is not explainable by transport costs or any other cost input," he said.
"With very little public transport options in the country and the longer distances travelled, it is a huge impost on country people.
"I have questioned the ACCC and others on this and have never had a reasonable explanation. This needs to be investigated by a Royal Commission to see if alleged price gouging is occurring."
Mr Hogan said there had been also been senate enquiries into various issues, but they did not have enough "teeth", and the royal commission would provide protection for people to give evidence into the matter.
He said that since his announcement yesterday he had been contacted by colleague Llew O'Brien, who offered to be a seconder for his notice of motion.
Mr Hogan moved to the crossbench following the Liberal Party spill of then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, and previously told The Daily Examiner he had not ruled out the possibility of taking a dissenting position or abstaining should he oppose any government policy.
"I very much reserve that right," Mr Hogan said. "I would have to evaluate each piece of legislation on its merits."