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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 972

(Question No. 4026)


Mr Langmore asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 20 May 1986:

(1) What was the ACT price of LPG per litre in each year since 1980.

(2) How is the ACT price of LPG determined.

(3) Have there been additional imposts on LPG users since 1980, such as rental of cylinders; if so, (a) what was the rate and (b) how has the price been determined.

(4) How do LPG price movements and additional imposts compare with CPI movements since 1980.

(5) Has the Prices Surveillance Authority investigated LPG pricing; if not, can it.


Mr Keating —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) and (2) The Commonwealth determines a wholesale price for LPG which applies to sales by producers of naturally occurring LPG for automotive and traditional domestic, industrial and commercial uses. This price is also applied by the Prices Surveillance Authority as the maximum ex-refinery price for sales of refinery-produced LPG for the same uses. Prices for on-sales of LPG beyond the producer's terminal or refinery gate are not subject to these arrangements so that there is no officially determined price of LPG directly applicable to the ACT. Prices of LPG to ACT consumers would reflect the officially determined wholesale price, together with transport costs and distributors' margins. The Government does not collect details of prices charged for LPG in the ACT.

(3) The Government does not have details of charges such as cylinder rentals set by distributors. There are no Commonwealth imposts on LPG other than an excise on naturally occurring LPG from certain fields. This excise is included in the officially determined wholesale price.

(4) There has been considerable fluctuation in wholesale prices of LPG over recent years. Overall, however, between 9 April 1980 (when the arrangements for determining the price first came into effect) and 1 November 1986 (when the latest adjustment was made), the officially determined wholesale price of LPG increased by 4.5 per cent. This may be compared with the increase of 70.0 per cent recorded in the CPI between the June quarter 1980 and the December quarter 1986. The following table shows movements in the officially determined wholesale price of LPG since 9 April 1980:

Officially-determined wholesale price for LPG (ex Long Island or ex-Refinery Gate) for specified use

$ per

tonne

Per-

centage

change

9 April 1980...

205.00

1 July 1980...

227.63

+11.0

1 January 1981...

250.23

+ 9.9

1 July 1981...

228.88

- 8.5

1 January 1982...

200.15

-12.6

1 July 1982...

220.09

+10.0

1 January 1983...

251.85

+14.4

1 July 1983...

304.44

+20.9

1 April 1984...

244.75

-19.6

1 October 1984...

240.59

- 1.7

1 April 1985...

253.34

+ 5.3

1 October 1985...

262.21

+ 3.5

1 April 1986...

269.55

+ 2.8

1 October 1986...

267.41

- 0.8

1 November 1986...

214.18

+19.9

(5) Sales of refinery-produced LPG oil companies are subject to surveillance by the Prices Surveillance Authority under the price notification procedures and were included in the inquiry conducted by the Authority in 1984 into petroleum products pricing. The Authority's consideration of prices for refinery-produced LPG is subject to a direction by the Treasurer which requires it to give special consideration to the Government's pricing policy for LPG. The Authority has, accordingly, adhered to the officially determined price in its decisions.