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Bob Katter’s wild supermarket rant as he launches crackdown on the Coles and Woolworths monopoly that’s sent prices soaring: ‘Disgraceful’

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Independent MP Bob Katter has introduced his Bill to reduce the market power of Australia’s major supermarket chains.

Under the policy proposal, major supermarkets’ market power would be divested by 20 per cent within five years.

It would also create a commissioner for food retailing that would have powers to stop price gouging and other anti-competitive behaviour.

Speaking in the lower house earlier on Monday, Mr Katter said rising grocery prices were ‘disgraceful’ and pointed to 15 official inquiries being held into supermarket prices over the past 30 years.

He held up a white potato and declared that the price paid to the farmer for the everyday grocery item was between 40 to 50 cents, while the supermarket charged $4.50 per kg.

Independent MP Bob Katter has introduced his Bill to reduce the market power of Australia's major supermarket chains

Independent MP Bob Katter has introduced his Bill to reduce the market power of Australia’s major supermarket chains

Under the policy proposal, major supermarkets' market power would be divested by 20 per cent within five years

Under the policy proposal, major supermarkets’ market power would be divested by 20 per cent within five years 

‘Every time the issue is raised we have an inquiry … but of course, you haven’t got the courage to do what needs to be done,’ he said.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, who has backed the proposal, said it was ‘unconscionable’ that supermarkets were raking in billion-dollar profits while Australians were resorting to dumpster diving and skipping meals.

‘What we need is a body that can identify and stamp out wrongdoing without waiting for the government to say so,’ he said.

Four separate reviews, including a competition watchdog price inquiry, into the conduct of the supermarket chains are under way.

The federal government appointed former Labor minister Craig Emerson to lead a review of the food and grocery code in January.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has previously said he was prepared to act but would wait until the outcome of the reviews had been finalised.



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