Petrol - 53 Cents Per Litre


The Australian Automobile Association has dismissed as laughable, claims by the Government that tax has had no impact on rising petrol prices.

AAA Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh, said that the Commonwealth Government seemed to be in denial about petrol tax. He said Canberra was making billions out of taxes on petrol. "If there was no tax on petrol, Australian’s would be paying 53 cents per litre instead of $1.00," he said.

"Government tax on petrol has been rising rapidly ever since indexation of petrol was introduced (see table) and taxes have jumped again since the introduction of the GST. If petrol taxes returned to the level they were at on the 30 June this year, before the GST, petrol would be 3 cents per litre cheaper," Mr. McIntosh said

"AAA accepts that the Government can do little about world oil prices and currency fluctuations and their impact on domestic petrol prices. However the Government can do something about the substantial impact of taxes on petrol prices and that is why we want the Government to freeze excise in February when the GST inflation spike will add another 2 to 3 cents per litre to prices. The Prime Minister can use this freeze to regain the faith of motorists by ensuring petrol prices do not rise in February as a result of the GST.

"The Government is receiving a huge windfall from higher petrol prices through higher than expected excise, the GST and the petroleum resources rent tax. Every cent extra in excise gives the Government an additional $340 million dollars per year. The Government can easily afford to freeze excise in February without impacting on the budget bottom line.

"The petroleum resource rent tax is a good example of what I mean. The Budget shows the Government receiving $1.28 billion in petroleum rent resources tax based on a price of US$25 per barrel for Bass Strait crude oil. The price has been around US$30 per barrel since the start of the financial year and at that price the Government will collect an extra $470 million over budget estimates.

"The Government also claims that our petrol prices are low compared with the rest of the world. Perhaps they are in relation to Europe where people use more public transport and travel shorter distances but not when compared with similar countries like the United States. If we paid the same petrol tax as Americans, we would be paying 63 cents per litre for fuel," Mr. McIntosh said.



March 1983

March 1990

March 1996

June 2000

August 2000

Retail Petrol Price

44.2 c

64.1 c

71.2 c

87.8 c



6.2 c

24.1 c

34.2 c

36 c

38.1 c

GST / State Petrol Taxes

6 c

6.5 c

7.5 c

8.2 c

9.1 c

Total Tax per Litre

12.2 c

30.6 c

41.7 c

44.2 c

47.2 c

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