Independent MPs welcome ‘copy cat’ supermarket legislation after doing ‘hard yards’

Mar 21, 2024

WHILE on separate ends of the political spectrum, Katter’s Australia Party MP Bob Katter is applauding the Australian Greens for its intent to introduce legislation forcing supermarket divestment in the Senate.

Mr Katter himself will commence debate on his own legislation in the House of Representatives next week, after tabling it on Tuesday – Reducing Supermarket Dominance Bill, for which he’s garnered the support of multiple independents including Calare MP Andrew Gee and Clark MP Andrew Wilkie.

Mr Katter said while he fundamentally opposed the majority of the Greens’ views, he would support moves against the major grocers in his battle for increased competition, fairer returns for producers and lower prices for consumers.

“Next week parliament will get the opportunity to vote for our crossbench bill, which they’ve all seen before because Mr Wilkie and I tried to introduce this 11 years ago,” Mr Katter said.

“Firstly, I applaud my crossbench colleagues for their immediate support on this issue gripping our nation; while the major parties keep ‘talking’ about affordability, or investigating the problems, we on the crossbench are moving for action.

“But now everyone is wanting to move legislation, and we welcome them. But we hope that if they’re genuine, they vote for our legislation, we most certainly will be voting for theirs.

“But I do make the point, until Mr Wilkie and I, and then Mr Gee and I made some noise on this, nothing had happened.

“We did the hard yards, 400 items at Woolworths were reduced after our pig stunt, and now the Greens want to capitalise on work that we’ve done – well that’s good, that’s what we want.”

Mr Gee said it was promising to see that other parties were “finally getting with the program.”

“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, Bob and I should be feeling tickled pink with the knowledge that the Greens have copied our Reducing Supermarket Dominance Bill,” Mr Gee said.

“Just weeks after Bob’s now famous pig stunt at parliament, perhaps the Greens should promote their bill by dressing up as copy cats.

“All jokes aside, it’s great that other parties are finally getting with the program that Bob proposed 11 years ago. It may have taken 11 years, but better late than never. Any bill that potentially reduces the power of supermarkets is a good thing.

“It’s interesting that the National Party still haven’t introduced any legislation of their own to stop the supermarket pigs and hogs.

“Despite their bold talk, all they’ve managed to do is piggyback off the Greens. Maybe they need to have a lend of the pig suits if that’s all they can come up with. Perhaps they’re too busy planning to call for another inquiry.

“It’s even more disappointing when you realise the National Party had nine years to stop the supermarket hogs and failed.

“Bob’s Bill will be hitting the House of Representatives on Monday and it will be very interesting to see whether the National Party, the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and the Greens back up their talk by supporting our Bill.

“Australia will be watching, and any hint of hypocrisy on the part of the major parties will be called out.”


Picture: Kennedy MP Bob Katter and Calare MP Andrew Gee speaking on the crossbench Reducing Supermarket Dominance Bill at Orange.