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Internal appointment of Petrol Commissioner a vote of no confidence in the position's future.



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Luke Hartsuyker MP

Shadow Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs Federal Member for Cowper

Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Email:greg.pierce@aph.gov.au Canberra: 62 77 4447

Media Release

October 1, 2008

Internal appointment of Petrol Commissioner a vote of no confidence in the position’s future

The proposed internal appointment of a new Petrol Commissioner from within the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is a vote of no confidence in the position’s future, Shadow Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Luke Hartsuyker said today.

Minister Chris Bowen today announced that a staff member of the ACCC would be the new Petrol Commissioner.

“The fact that Minister Bowen could not find an outside candidate for this position speaks volumes about of the role of the Petrol Commissioner’s position.

“No-one in their right mind would have taken the role when in reality the position could be obsolete within a couple of months.

“The Minister has obviously left it up to the ACCC to come up with an internal appointment, safe in the knowledge that if the FuelWatch legislation does not pass through the Senate, then the appointee is not left out on a limb.”

Mr Hartsuyker said this appointment is just another classic case of the Rudd Government’s focus on spin when it comes to cost of living pressures.

“Last year Kevin Rudd led Australians to believe he could put downward pressure on the price of fuel.

“The appointment of a Petrol Commissioner and the announcement of a FuelWatch scheme was Mr Rudd’s attempt to be seen to be doing something, when in reality he was doing nothing. It was a straight political fix.

“When the first Petrol Commissioner resigned for personal reasons, it was clear the Government would struggle to attract a credible external appointment.

“Today’s announcement is therefore of little surprise, given the way Kevin Rudd has tried to con the Australian people.

“At the recent Senate Inquiry into FuelWatch the overwhelming evidence was that the scheme would be anti-competitive and could actually push up the price of fuel.

“The ACCC itself has admitted that FuelWatch will not deliver cheaper fuel, yet the government continues to peddle the line that it is worth wasting $20 million of taxpayer’s money on a Petrol Commissioner and hoax scheme.” Ends