How will an ‘inquiry’ actually fix cost of living crisis?

Feb 9, 2023

How will an ‘inquiry’ actually fix cost of living crisis?

Feb 9, 2023

HOW a Coalition and Greens-led “cost of living inquiry” will help struggling Australians is beyond Kennedy MP Bob Katter, who is calling for immediate action.  

Government expenditure should be focussed towards “money-making” projects and increasing the availability of affordable blocks of land to ease the effects of rising inflation and interest rates, the Federal MP said.  

“Quite frankly, they are raising interest rates to get housing prices down,” he said.  

“But the way to get housing prices down is to float 200,000 blocks of affordable land onto the market. You can’t do that in Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. But you can in North Queensland, with all its empty land, and by removing the unnecessary red tape and impositions on subdivisions.  

“With a massive publicity campaign to draw people to empty North Queensland, it will dramatically decrease house prices in the major cities where the average prices are over $800,000, while offering affordable blocks in the north.” 

While governments often opt to ‘stimulate’ the economy by building ‘money-absorbing’ infrastructure, Mr Katter said they should be opting to spend on revenue-generating projects. 

“We gave the locomotive building contracts in Queensland, to Queensland companies, and thereby we created a great industry in Queensland. We sponsored the factories building motor vehicle parts. And we built the world’s biggest power station at the time at Gladstone, with a Reserved Resource Policy, creating cheap electricity.  

“These were money-making projects, not money-absorbing projects like tunnels in Brisbane, Olympic stadiums and pleasure domes along the Brisbane River.” 

Mr Katter has long advocated for a series of money-generating projects which would boost the region’s agriculture and new-age minerals production. These projects include Hells Gates Dam and the Hughenden Irrigation Project which would increase land available for farming, the CopperString transmission line which would increase mining production, the Big Rocks Weir at Charters Towers which would boost cattle grazing, and the Bridle Track Tunnel at Cairns which would improve the connectivity of Australia’s food bowl and minerals hub to export opportunities.  

Responding to reports the Coalition and Greens would use a cost-of-living inquiry to probe the Federal Government’s policies[1], Mr Katter questioned how a taxpayer-funded report, due in November, would help everyday Australians struggling now.  

“You don’t need an inquiry, just pass legislation that says the major supermarkets can only have a 100 per cent mark up on what they’re paying the farmer.  

“So, either the farmer benefits, or the end consumer benefits. 

“We’ve had 15 inquiries on the supermarkets, and nothing has come of it. They just buy the politicians some time, and the people get screwed.  

“If you can’t decide what needs to be done, if you can’t govern and you need reports and inquiries, then don’t waste the taxpayer’s money, just go.”  



Last year Mr Katter delivered a notice of motion with six key recommendations for agriculture legislation that would ensure fair prices are being paid to farmers, without hurting consumer wallets, as well as boosting sovereign food production capability.  

Mr Katter’s six legislation recommendations are:  

  1. Food and manufacturing labelling that highlights hidden imports and prevents fraud.

  2. Fresh produce labelling system that indicates the farm-gate price and the supermarket mark up.
  3. Divestiture legislation that reduces the market power of the corporations that operate the major supermarkets with the objective of levelling the playing field providing a competitive marketplace for consumers and suppliers.
  4. National Office of Better Agricultural Regulation with powers to reduce red tape and consider the actual cost of implementing both marketplace regulations.
  5. Investment in infrastructure and critical supplies/ support industries to reduce production and transportation costs (i.e. gas prices for fertiliser, chemicals, fuel, worker access).
  6. Reforming the  Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme to ensure farmers have direct access to the program.

    [1]Cost-of-living inquiry to target Labor’s election promises (