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Senate inquiry into Fuelwatch will get all the facts on the table.



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Wed, 18th June 2008 SENATE INQUIRY INTO FUELWATCH WILL GET ALL THE FACTS ON THE TABLE

Luke Hartsuyker MP Shadow Minister for Business Development, Independent Contractors and Consumer Affairs

The establishment of a Senate inquiry into the FuelWatch Bill will enable all the facts to be put on the table, Shadow Minister for Business Development, Independent Contractors and Consumer Affairs, Luke Hartsuyker, said today.

The Senate agreed this morning (Wednesday) to refer the Bill to a committee and released the terms of reference of the inquiry.

Mr Hartsuyker said the inquiry would provide all stakeholders an opportunity to detail the impact of a national FuelWatch scheme.

''Since Kevin Rudd announced the FuelWatch scheme there has been widespread concern that it is anti-competitive and could actually push up the price of fuel,'' Mr Hartsuyker said.

''We have had four government departments, including the Prime Minister's department, recommend against FuelWatch but it remains unclear on what basis Kevin Rudd decided to proceed with a national scheme.

''Except for some glib observations, the Rudd Government and its agencies have failed to produce any detail which supports claims that FuelWatch will deliver lower fuel prices. All Kevin Rudd's 'research' has been shrouded in secrecy.

''During last year's Federal election campaign Kevin Rudd led Australians to believe he would deliver cheaper fuel.

''He has unsuccessfully tried to use the FuelWatch scheme to get him off-the-hook of that election commitment.

''The real concern here is that Australians are going to pay the price for Kevin Rudd's obsession with political spin rather than good public policy.

''The fact that the Prime Minister has refused to guarantee that no motorist will be worse off under FuelWatch is, in itself, cause for concern.

''If the Rudd Government is fair dinkum about the benefits of FuelWatch they will take this opportunity to produce in detail the merits of this scheme.''