Major parties block cost of living relief

Mar 26, 2024

AUSTRALIA’S major parties have blocked debate on Katter’s Australian Party MP Bob Katter’s Reducing Supermarket Dominance Bill, which would have provided affordable groceries for families and a fair return for farmers.

Following weeks of public debate, Mr Katter on Monday presented his legislation which would have mandated divestiture of the supermarkets, capping their market share at 20 per and boosted competition, and also, mandated a 100 per cent maximum mark up on produce from farm gate price to retail price.

The bill also provided for a strong enforcement body with significant penalties.

After presenting his bill, on Monday afternoon Mr Katter called on the parliament to vote whether the legislation should be further debated. Multiple independent MPs and the Greens supported Mr Katter’s motion.

Meanwhile Labor and the Coalition voted against further debating the bill – providing relief to Australian consumers and fairer prices to farmers.

“I think that this battle is far from over. We may not win in the parliament today, but the government must be served notice that every element of Australia is screaming for this,” Mr Katter said while calling on the debate.

“Does this place do nothing about it? Don’t we care that people out there are going hungry now, and they’re missing meals? Doesn’t anybody care?

“For those that are worried about divestment, I’ve got to tell you that when Theodore Roosevelt broke up Esso, the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey under Rockefeller, he broke it up into 32 companies. The value of the shareholders went up.”

Mr Katter said as he had previously stated, he “would not be giving up the fight” against the major supermarkets and, despite not attracting unanimous support for his bill, was still prepared to support legislation that was brought forward by other members of parliament.

“In the dirty world of compromise, these games have to be played, and there in lies the problem. We shouldn’t be playing these games. We should be doing what needs to be done.”

“But we’ve had 15 inquiries already into the supermarkets and the ‘ALP-LNP junta’ know this. Quite frankly, they hold these inquiries to avoid actually doing anything.”