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Ministerial directive to the prices justification tribunal



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BACA

DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

MINISTERIAL DIRECTIVE TO THE PRICES

JUSTIFICATION TRIBUNAL

79/101

The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, Mr Ual. Fife, today announced that he had written to the Chairman of the Prices Justification Tribunal directing the Tribunal to give special consid­ eration to certain matters arising out of initiatives uihich the Prime Minister announced in his Statement of 27 June 1979 on Energy Policy.

One of those matters, the Minister said, was the need for oil companies to obtain imported oil supplies, including spot purchases as necessary, to meet Australian requirements. To this end, the Tribunal has been asked to permit oil companies to pass on to users the higher costs associated with spot purchases which are bona fide and at arms length. The Tribunal has also been asked to ensure that price relativities for domestic petroleum products do not inhibit

production of products in short supply.

. Mr Fife said that recent amendments to the Prices Justification Act provide for the Minister to direct the Tribunal to give special consideration to certain matters in exercising its functions and powers. He added that this is the first such directive to be given to the. Tribunal. . '

CANBERRA, A.C.T.

6 July, 1979.

MINISTER FOR BUSINESS AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA 2800

Dear Mr Conron

In his Statement of 27 June 1979 on Energy Policy, the Prim e M inister underlined the importance of basing our energy decisions on realistic prices for petroleum products. He noted, in the context of the present world oil situation, that the choice is between paying realistic prices for petroleum products or not having access to adequate supplies.

The Prim e Minister stated that the Government expects oil companies to obtain imported oil supplies, as necessary, to meet Australian requirem ents. To this end, the Government wishes to ensure that the Tribunal will perm it oil companies to pass on to u sers the higher costs associated with spot purchases which are bona fide and at .arm s length.

The Government also wishes to ensure that existing price relativities for domestic petroleum products do not inhibit production of products in short supply. In this regard, I note that the Tribunal's approach to pricing of aviation gasoline' and fuel oil, the major products

in short supply, is consistent with this objective.

I am writing formally to direct the Tribunal, in the term s of the attached notice under Section 17A of the Prices Justification Act, to give special consideration to these m atters in exercising its functions and powers under the Act. I propose to

release this letter publicly with a statement which I will be making later to-day.

Mr. C. Conron, Chairman, P rices Justification Tribunal, 10 Queens Road, MELBOURNE, VIC. 3004.

Yours sincerely

WAL. FIFE

/

PRICES JUSTIFICATION ACT 1973

NOTICE UNDER SECTION 17A

In pursuance of section 17A of the Prices Justification Act 197:3

I, WALLACE CLYDE FIFE, the Minister of State for Business and Consumer

A ffairs, hereby direct the P rices Justification Tribunal to give special

consideration, in exercising its functions and powers under that Act, to the

following m atters:

(a) the present need for oil companies to make spot purchases

overseas of crude oil and petroleum products to enable them

to satisfy Australian requirem ents for petroleum products;

(b) the need to ensure that oil companies are encouraged to

make such purchases by permitting them to pass on to

u sers the higher costs associated with such purchases

made at prices that are not increased by reason of any

relationship or affiliation between the buyer and seller;

(c) the need to ensure that price relativities in relation to

petroleum products marketed in A ustralia are not such as

to inhibit the production in Australia of petroleum products

that are in short supply in Australia.

Dated this day of 1979.

Minist :e for

Business _____ amer Affairs