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WA Government confirms FuelWatch doesn't lower petrol prices\n

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Luke Hartsuyker MP

Shadow Minister for Business Development, Independent Contractors and Consumer Affairs Federal Member for Cowper

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Canberra: 62 77 4447

Media Release

July 16, 2008

WA Government confirms FuelWatch doesn't lower petrol prices

In a damaging blow to the Rudd Labor Government's proposed national FuelWatch scheme, senior officials from the Western Australia’s Department of Consumer and Employment Protection confirmed they have no data indicating FuelWatch lowers petrol prices in WA.

The revelations came in evidence given by Western Australia’s Deputy Price Commissioner, Aaron Rayner, to the Senate Economics Committee hearing in Perth today.

During his appearance Mr Rayner told the inquiry ”we are not saying that FuelWatch has reduced the price (of fuel).

Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Luke Hartsuyker, said the revelations directly contradicted ACCC Petrol Commissioner Pat Walker, who was formerly the Western Australia Petrol Commissioner.

“Since his appointment Mr Walker has been claiming that a national FuelWatch scheme would deliver savings of up to five cents a litre. In recent times we have seen the Rudd Government back peddle away from such claims.

“What has been revealed today is the Deputy Price Commissioner refuse the opportunity to say the Western Australian FuelWatch scheme has delivered cheaper fuel. This is further confirmation that Kevin Rudd’s FuelWatch scheme is all about spin and no action.

"It is extraordinary that the Rudd Labor Government has promised FuelWatch will lower prices, but the Western Australian Government says it doesn't do that in their state, where FuelWatch already exists.

"The only thing officials could confirm at today’s hearing was that the introduction of supermarket chains to the market in WA had put downward pressure on retail margins.

"This is what we’ve been saying all along, and which was also confirmed by Professor Don Harding in his paper released yesterday," Mr Hartsuyker said.