Regional and Remote Petrol Retail Grants Scheme Welcomed


The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has offered cautious support to the announcement today by the Treasurer of a scheme to ensure regional and remote area motorists do not pay more for fuel as a result of the GST.

AAA Director of Communications, Greg Hunting, said his organisation is pleased that the Government has opted for a grants system rather than a rebate system because of concerns AAA has with the existing fuel rebate systems in South Australia and New South Wales.

Mr. Hunting said the fact that the grants will fall under the Price Exploitation legislation was also welcomed because it will mean that the ACCC will be able to ensure the grants are passed on to motorists.

"Our understanding is that the scheme announced today will be in addition to a cut in excise equivalent to the GST impost in city areas," Mr. Hunting said.

"Naturally AAA will need to see the final details of the scheme and in particular how it will operate before deciding whether or not to fully endorse it.

"We do note, however, that with the CPI expected to be around 6% in the first year of the GST, indexation will push petrol prices up by around two cents a litre.

"A two cents a litre increase equates to an extra $400 million in excise in a full year and we would urge the Treasurer to look seriously at discounting indexation by the GST impact next year.

We would also urge the Treasurer to seriously consider reviewing the whole excise question with a view to introducing a more equitable system of road user charges." Mr. Hunting said.

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