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Thursday, 17 February 2000
Page: 13786

Mr CREAN (2:58 PM) —My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, can you confirm advice from the ACCC that they have only employed two people to enforce your GST petrol price promise? Is this one of the limits you were referring to on the Sunday program?

Mr SPEAKER —I call the Minister for Financial Services and Regulation.

Mr Crean —Costello! Where is he?

Mr SPEAKER —The Deputy Leader of the Opposition is warned! He gets more tolerance than almost anyone else in this place, and he should exercise more restraint.

Mr HOCKEY (Minister for Financial Services and Regulation) —The ACCC have substantial resources to be able to appropriately monitor prices right across Australia, and they are doing that through a range of measures, including contracting out to price monitors, which includes a large number of people moving around to a large number of places and accumulating over three million prices during the price monitoring phase.

Mr HOCKEY —The question that should be asked is: what has the Labor Party ever done about price monitoring? What did the Labor Party do to monitor the price impact on consumers when it introduced its l-a-w wholesale sales tax increases? What did the Labor Party do to monitor the impact on consumers when it put up petrol prices? The Labor Party has always treated consumers with contempt and it is high hypocrisy for the Labor Party to start asking questions about price monitoring.