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Australians paying at bowser for Howard's Iraq folly.

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MEDIA 04/774



Australians paying at bowser for Howard's Iraq folly Australian motorists are paying record petrol prices of over $1 a litre because the messy aftermath of the Bush/Howard Iraq war has unsettled world oil markets according to the Australian Democrats.

Democrats Regional Development spokesperson Senator John Cherry said petrol prices had risen by an average of 6 cents a litre across Australian capital cities in the last month, soaring over $1 a litre in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth and hovering just under $1 a litre in Brisbane last weekend.

"We are all paying at the bowser for John Howard's deceitful campaign in Iraq," he said.

"More bad news is on the way with oil prices reaching a record high of $47.50 a barrel in New York, up 28% since June and 53% since last August.

"In the last three weeks, petrol prices rose 5 cents in Brisbane to 93 cents a litre, 5.5 cents a litre in Sydney to $1.02 a litre, 7 cents a litre in Perth to $1.02 a litre, 2 cents a litre in Melbourne to 99 cents a litre (down from $1.02 last Saturday) and 6 cents a litre in Adelaide to $1.02.

"Motorists in Brisbane are now paying 15 cents a litre more than they were two years ago.

"All of us are paying heavily for John Howard's Iraq war folly, and look to pay a lot more yet, before the situation in Iraq settles and oil production can return to 'normal'.

"The Iraqi war is particularly hurting rural Australians who have higher petrol and diesel prices than urban Australians. Having lost export markets for wheat and other products in the Middle East, rural Australia is facing higher costs and lower incomes because of the war in Iraq," he concluded. PETROL PRICES (cents per litre - Source: AAA, ACCC)

Jul 02 Jul 03 Jul 04 Aug 11-17

Sydney 86.9 89.3 98.2 103.2

Melbourne 86.0 85.3 95.9 100.1

Brisbane 78.7 80.3 90.2 93.7

Adelaide 87.8 87.1 98.1 103.3

Perth 89.4 90.1 94.0 101.8

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