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Labor stung by coalition petrol policy

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MEDIA RELEASE Peter McGauran MP Shadow M inister for Resources and Energy

Federal M em ber for Gippsland


Only 15 days ago, the Labor Party refused to release a petrol pricing policy before the March 2 election with Assistant Treasurer George Gear claiming, 'the issue is one that just needs to die down'. <

Shadow Minister for Resources and Energy, Peter McGauran derided Labor’s surprise petrol pricing statement released today saying it contained the completely false assertion that the Coalition advocated outlawing petrol discounting.

"This is an absurd suggestion showing that Labor is grasping at straws to attack the Coalition's strong plan for action on petrol pricing."

"The only innovation in Labor's petrol pricing statement is the direct steal of the Coalition's initiative to introduce transparency in pricing. Labor has suddenly woken up to this as an issue after ignoring it for thirteen years."

Mr McGauran welcomed the latest exercise in "catch-up" politics from the Labor Party, saying their statement clearly demonstrated how ineffectual Labor had been in government on the petrol pricing issue.

"It is breathtaking to see Labor trying to defend the Laidely Agreement in today’s statement. In 1994 the Labor Government's own adviser, the Industry Commission, recommended the accelerated withdrawal of the Laidely Agreement because it restricts competition."

"Today's defence of Laidely makes a farce of Labor's supposed commitment to increasing competition in Australian industry."

"Since I launched the Coalition's plan to introduce fairness and transparency into country petrol prices on 8 February, it has been supported by groups including the NFF, VFF, NSWFF and RACV. Today's unconvincing attempt by Labor to justify their appalling inaction on petrol pricing will be widely seen in country areas as the empty gesture it is", Mr McGauran concluded.

For further information, contact: Peter McGauran 018-329 069 22.2.96 Jim Groves 06-251 4563 (AH)