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Minister fails to explain why petrol prices are still too high.

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MEDIA RELEASE Senator Kate Lundy Shadow Minister for Manufacturing and Consumer Affairs Senator for the Australian Capital Territory

Thursday 2 December 2004

Minister fails to explain why petrol prices are still too high

The substantial decrease in the cost of crude oil is not being passed onto consumers at the petrol bowsers and today in Question Time in Parliament, the Minister failed to support Labor’s call for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate.

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, the Australian market price per barrel of crude oil has decreased from $70.10 AUD on 1 November 2004 to $57.23 AUD on 1 December 2004 - a drop of close to $13.

This represents a decrease of 18.4 % since 1 November, yet petrol prices at the bowser have only dropped on average less than 4% as at 1 December 2004 - the average price in capital cities is still in the vicinity of $1.02 per litre - unchanged for much of the latter half of November.

Crude oil prices are not the only factor in determining petrol prices, but, the fact remains that there has been a substantial drop in crude oil prices which, when combined with the Australian dollar being at an 8 year high in US terms, should result in greater reduction in petrol prices for consumers.

Someone in the supply chain is making a profit from the reduction in the cost of crude oil, and it isn’t the consumer at the bowser.

The Minister was incorrect in saying the ACCC had the power to intervene or inquire into this matter.

Given that rising petrol prices are often blamed on the rising cost of crude oil, Labor calls on the Howard Government to ensure the ACCC has the power to investigate why such a significant decrease is not being passed on.

Contact: Adina Cirson - 0418 488 295 or 02 6277 3334

Market Watch

Daily Market Update 2 December 2004: Source - Australian Institute of Petroleum:

Source: Australian Institute of Petroleum:

Average Weekly Unleaded Petrol Prices for the 12 Weeks to Sunday, 28 November 2004 National Average