Petrol Price Spiral Continues in June


The June AAA survey of monthly petrol prices has revealed a continuing climb in prices throughout the nation. While most capital city prices rose by between one and two cents per litre during the month, regional prices in most areas rose by substantially more.


The highest increase in Australia during June was in Portland in Victoria with a jump of 8 cents per litre, followed by Traralgon and Broken Hill with increases of 5.9 cents per litre. Other centres experiencing substantial petrol price rises of between 3.5 and 4.4 cents included Moree, Hay, Ballarat, Echuca, Moe, Charleville, Bundaberg, Warwick, and Devonport.


The Executive Director of the Australian Automobile Association, Lauchlan McIntosh, said the regional increases were difficult to justify in light of the fact that world oil prices remained relatively steady throughout June.


"The fact that world prices were stable during June would indicate retail prices should also have remained stable throughout the month," he said.


"What is of even greater concern to AAA is that petrol prices have risen further since 1 July even though the world oil price has fallen over the past two weeks from US$32.73 per barrel on 29 June to US$30.34 cents per barrel today. In light of this fall in world prices, the only rational explanation for petrol price increases since 1 July is the impact of the GST.


"The Australian Automobile Association is deeply concerned that motorists are paying more than they should for petrol and we have written to the ACCC asking them to investigate petrol price rises.


"In particular we have asked the ACCC to investigate whether there has been any profiteering associated with the introduction of the GST and to make public the findings of their investigation including the reasons prices have increased.


"It is significant that before the GST was introduced, motorists were paying a total of 44.2 cents per litre in tax. Under the GST this has risen to 46 cents," Mr. McIntosh said.


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