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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1786

Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (16:17): The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released the first quarterly petrol report for the year. I welcome Minister for Small Business Mr Bruce Billson's direction to the ACCC to do this targeted monitoring of the fuel industry. The report is particularly relevant for motorists in regional Australia. I have been inundated with constituent inquiries calling for the ACCC to investigate fuel pricing behaviour, particularly in Indi. Prices have remained too high for too long and are not coming down as predicted. This first report has shown that regional townships have a fuel price 20c per litre higher than their urban counterparts.

Benalla, in my electorate of Indi, was featured in the latest report. In January 2015 in Benalla, on average prices were 19.6c a litre higher than in the city. Motorists are not happy, and they want answers. I have submitted a series of questions to Mr Billson to ask how we can work towards fairer outcomes for rural and regional motorists. This issue has gone on for decades and people in the country really have had enough. I call on the government and my colleagues opposite to help me to get this investigated and to introduce solutions to make fuel prices in regional Australia fairer for all motorists.