KAP calls for stand-alone inquiry into cost-of-living crisis

Rob Katter MP, Nick Dametto MP and Shane Knuth MP.

5 March 2024

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) has today issued an urgent call for the establishment of a dedicated, stand-alone inquiry into Australia’s escalating cost of living crisis in addition to the pending Parliamentary Inquiry into the Big Supermarkets.

The call comes amid discussions on how best to address the soaring costs affecting Australians nationwide, with the LNP proposing an expansion of the inquiry into the Big Supermarkets to cover cost of living concerns. KAP firmly believes such measures would dilute the focus of the examination on Coles and Woolworths.

KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter said that although the KAP couldn’t back the LNP’s position to broaden terms of the Parliamentary inquiry, his party supported the sentiment that an inquiry into the cost-of-living crisis was warranted.

“My reluctance to support the LNP is based solely on the need for any inquiry into the conduct of Coles and Woolworths to strictly drill down on the activities of those major supermarkets,” Mr Katter said.

“The KAP’s call for a stand-alone inquiry on the cost-of-living is rooted in a deep concern for the average Australian family, many of whom are struggling to keep up with rising costs across essential services and goods.

To achieve the purpose, an inquiry of such should include but not necessarily be limited to, an examination of the rising costs of electricity prices, insurance costs, water costs and transport (fuel) costs.

“We believe a separate inquiry would allow for a comprehensive examination of the myriad of factors contributing to the cost-of-living surge.”

KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said the cost-of-living crisis in Queensland is a distinct and broad reaching issue that demands its own standalone parliamentary investigation.

“The LNP’s attempt to widen the scope for the Supermarket Enquiry although likely to be well intended would result in a dilution of the laser focus necessary to draw down on the conduct of the supermarket duopoly,” Mr Dametto said.

“Cost-of-living pressures are affecting everyone, from our rural and regional heartlands to our city centres. If we are serious about finding ways to reduce those costs it will require a committee’s full attention.

“Expanding the terms of reference of the Big Supermarkets inquiry would only complicate and water down the effectiveness of any investigation, which threatens to let Coles and Woolies off the hook.”

KAP MP for Hill Shane Knuth said there was a wide range of expenses that have skyrocketed, in addition to the cost of the weekly food bill, that are placing extreme pressure on the average Queenslander.

“A cost-of-living inquiry must be stand alone and separate to any inquiry into the questionable activities and conduct of the big supermarkets,” Mr Knuth said.

“It should also have a robust and focused terms of reference, that can identify realistic recommendations that will have a direct impact on bringing down the cost of living to every Queenslander.”

The proposed inquiry would aim to uncover the root causes of the crisis, evaluate the effectiveness of current policies, and recommend actionable, targeted solutions to alleviate the financial pressure on Australian households.

A motion is expected to be debated in the Queensland Parliament on Wednesday this week whereby the KAP will be seeking to contribute and urge their parliamentary colleagues to support their calls for a stand-alone inquiry.


Nick Dametto MP