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Shopper dockets to be axed by petrol plan.

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Media Release

Bob Baldwin MP

Federal Member for Paterson

2nd June 2004


“Discount petrol shopper dockets that save motorists up to 4 cents a litre on petrol are under threat from a new Labor petrol policy,” Member for Paterson Bob Baldwin said today.

In a hurry to produce a policy on petrol prices last week-end, the Labor Party has again failed to do its homework and overlooked the detail of what they are proposing.

“Mark Latham has grabbed what sounded like a good idea without understanding the issue - and motorists in Paterson will pay the price,” Mr Baldwin said.

The Labor proposal includes changes to the Trade Practices Act which would fine the bigger companies for selling cheaper petrol if a competitor closed its doors because of a ‘price war’.

Labor is suggesting hefty fines, possible seizure of assets and even imprisonment for managers of the larger fuel retailers, if their discounted fuel prices inadvertently force another operator out of the market.

“It’s another example of the Labor Party not being prepared to do the hard work when it comes to policy. The wash-up will be less competition, less choice for motorists, no more shopper docket specials and higher petrol prices,” said Mr Baldwin.

“The Howard Government made a decision to freeze price indexation of petrol in 2001 and that means our petrol prices are now 5 cents a litre cheaper than they would have been under Labor.

“Many world factors are out of our control but we are also doing our bit to restore stability to the Middle East oil nations and help Australian families weather this upswing in the cycle of petrol prices.”

This latest mistake comes after last week’s announcement that Labor National President, Carmen Lawrence, launched a petrol policy encouraging Australian prices to climb to European levels - up to $3 a litre.