Taking action to end ‘highway robbery’

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Letter submitted to the Fraser Coast Chronicle on 18 December, 2015.

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Mr Breen’s letter (18/12) about petrol prices.

I’m sorry he feels that highlighting a serious issue like “price fixing” is “stealing oxygen”.

Petrol prices are largely influenced by factors outside Government control, such as the crude oil price.

On December 11, I wrote to Minister Bruce Billson to express my concern that the ACCC was not meeting its obligation to protect consumers from unfair commercial practices at the bowser.

As a result, on December 17, Minister Billson issued a new direction to the ACCC under section 95ZE of the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010.

The ACCC will now conduct at least four investigations a year into specific geographic markets and produce monitoring reports on a quarterly basis.           

With crude oil prices dropping by 40 per cent since June, local fuel retailers have been enjoying record profits of up to 30 cents per litre in some cases.

By comparison, the re-indexation of the fuel excise that Mr Breen referred to in his letter will add less than half a cent per litre, which equates to about $24 per year for a person using 50 litres a week.

The changes we’re making will not impact farmers and fishers who receive the diesel fuel rebate.

The funds raised will go towards building transport infrastructure, including $6.7 Billion to fix the Bruce Highway.

I urge Hinkler constituents to write to the ACCC and use social media to highlight examples of “highway robbery”.

Together, we can put pressure on retailers to do the right thing and reduce their prices!

Keith Pitt MP

Federal Member for Hinkler