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Thursday, 24 February 1977
Page: 414

Mr MORRIS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question, which is directed to the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, relates to a statement by the Minister on Tuesday that 'the Government has a deep commitment towards a marketing policy which will provide the Australian consumer with petrol at the lowest possible price'. Having in mind the heavy increases in petrol and oil prices and the consequent inflationary flow-on to all sectors of the transport industry if the Industries Assistance Commission's report on crude oil pricing were adopted I ask: In Cabinet discussions on crude oil pricing, in light of the Minister's statement has he opposed the IAC's recommendation? If not, what attitude has he expressed on the IAC's report in those discussions?

Mr HOWARD (BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs) -The honourable gentleman is even more naive than honourable members on this side of the House have come to believe. I have no intention of disclosing to him the contribution and views that I have expressed during Cabinet discussions on this matter. I assure him that in reaching decisions on the recommendations of the IAC, the Government will be very mindful of the consumer consequences of those decisions and very mindful of the price of petroleum products.

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