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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3600

Mr Tuckey asked the Assistant Treasurer, in writing, on 16 March 2009:

In respect of comments made by Associate Professor Frank Zumbo of the Australian School of Business reported in the article ‘Fuel Price Probe Call’ by Mr Robert Turner (Geraldton Guardian, 11 March 2009, pages 1-3), that Federal Petrol Commissioner Mr Joe Dimasi should investigate petrol pricing in the City of Geraldton in the electorate of O’Connor: given Geraldton has the advantage of bulk shipping facilities, will he (a) request the Commissioner to inquire into the high petrol prices in Geraldton, and (b) provide the Commissioner with the power to investigate and fully monitor the price of diesel in Geraldton, as recommenced by Professor Zumbo.

Mr Bowen (Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, and Assistant Treasurer) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

On 17 December 2007, the Government directed the ACCC to formally monitor the supply of unleaded petrol products in the petroleum industry in Australia. Formal monitoring provides the ACCC with the power to seek information regarding the prices, costs, and profits in relation to the monitored good or service. The Government has also asked the ACCC to focus on diesel and automotive LPG prices. As part of its monitoring, the ACCC monitors petrol, diesel, and automotive LPG prices in all capital cities and around 110 country towns. One of those country towns monitored is Geraldton.