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Petroleum products subsidy scheme extended



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NEWS RELEASE 78/49 BACA

PETROLEUM PRODUCTS SUBSIDY SCHEME EXTENDED

The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, Mr Wal Fife,

announced today that the Petrol exam Subsidy Scheme would commence in

Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia on 1 Jxone 1978. The scheme

commenced in the Northern Territory on 19 May 1978.

The Minister said his Government was anxious that the scheme

should begin as soon as possible so that people in coxontry areas received

the benefits of reduced petrolexxm prices. Therefore it had been decided

to introduce it progressively in the States as soon as possible after the

respective State Governments passed the necessary complementary legislation.

Introduction of the scheme fxilfilled an election promise made by

the Prime Minister that the Government woxxld take action after the election

to re-introduce the coxontry freight differential scheme which operated from

1965 to 1974 in respect of petrolexxm products.

The scheme woxild subsidise freight differentials to the extent

that coxontry consumers of motor spirit, power kerosene, aviation fuels and

automotive distillate woxxld pay a price which woxxld include no more than

foxxr cents per gallon ( eqxxivalent to 0.88 cents per litre ) of the transport

cost. The excess over that amoxxnt woxxld be borne by the Commonwealth

Government.

Mr Fife concluded by expressing his disappointment that the scheme

coxxld not yet be introduced in New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania

because the Governments of those States were not yet in a position to pass

on the benefits of the subsidy. The Minister added, however, that the

scheme woxxld be introduced in these States shortly after they were in a

position to pay the subsidy.

CANBERRA, A.C.T.

24 May 1978