Royal Commission: MP says the hard work is about to start
THE hard work is just starting for Page MP Kevin Hogan in his quest for a royal commission into petrol pricing and the behaviour of the major supermarkets.
Mr Hogan said the response to his call for a royal commission into the market domination of the three largest supermarkets that control 76 per cent of the industry and pricing practices of petroleum distributors had only been lukewarm.
"We had four speakers who all basically supported the motion," he said. "But it didn't get the level of support I thought it might.
"The ALP guy from the Northern Territory, Luke Gosling, basically supports the idea, but they're wanting to boost the powers of the ACCC, rather than have a royal commission.
"Rebekha Sharkie, from the Centre Alliance, is right behind it and George Christensen (Nationals) was the seconder."
Mr Hogan said the Liberal Party's leadership issues and the upcoming election were also competing for attention with his motion. "The reality is after this week I've got eight sitting weeks of parliament left to convince people to support me," he said.
"The process is my notice of motion has been read, there has been debate on it.
"It's been adjourned and will sit in the agenda for the house.
"I've got to get on my bike and make sure I can find the support it needs."
Mr Hogan said his timing was not the best, with a Federal election due any time up to May.
"The election is a speed hump for me," he said. "In reality it could only leave me with effectively four sitting weeks to work in."
Despite the distractions, getting to the bottom of petrol pricing practices was of vital importance to the community.
"No-one can explain how petrol prices can vary so wildly between the metropolitan areas and the country," he said.
"Not even ACCC chairman Rod Sims was able to give me a satisfactory explanation."
He said the fact the behaviour of supermarkets towards their suppliers had been the subject of more than one inquiry in the past decade, but had not appeared to change their behaviour, made a royal commission a necessity.