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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 115

Mr Robert asked the Treasurer, in writing, on 12 November 2008:

On 7 November 2008, why was Liquefied Petroleum Gas dearer on the Gold Coast (67.5 cents) than Brisbane (59.9 cents) and Melbourne (57.9 cents).

Mr Swan (Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

It is not possible to determine the cause of the precise difference between the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Melbourne on 7 November 2008. However, divergences between LPG prices in major metropolitan cities and regional towns may be explained by the varying market conditions in these localities.

Traditionally, Melbourne’s automotive LPG market has been the most competitive, and has had the lowest automotive LPG prices in Australia. This reflects the significantly larger volumes of automotive LPG sold in the Melbourne market compared to other major metropolitan cities and regional towns. According to the 2007 ABS Motor Vehicle Census, the number of LPG registered vehicles in Melbourne was about 5 times greater than in Brisbane.

Other local competitive factors may also impact on the LPG price differential in seemingly similar localities, including smaller population sizes, greater distance from storage facilities, the level of competition and the presence of discount retailers.