House debates

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Questions without Notice


2:29 pm

Photo of Andrew WilkieAndrew Wilkie (Clark, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister, Tasmanians are still being ripped off at the bowser. Higher freight costs and little competition don't explain why motorists yesterday paid 30c a litre more in Hobart than in Melbourne or why Tasmanians have paid over $12 million in excess fuel costs since March. Yes, the ACCC has looked at it before and will look at it again. But that's meaningless so long as the commission is a toothless bystander. So, Prime Minister, will you be the one to finally fix this? Will your government give the ACCC the power to intervene and to rein in the fuel industry and everyone else, for that matter, who are treating consumers like mugs?

2:30 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. This is a matter that goes to the ACCC, as he's indicated in his question, so I will ask the Treasurer to respond specifically.

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for his question. The ACCC monitors petrol prices on a daily basis and can take court action in the event that there is uncompetitive conduct. I can inform the member that between 1 March and 10 May this year petrol prices across Tasmania fell by 21 per cent and by 22 per cent in Hobart. As the honourable member knows, petrol prices in Tasmania are typically around 15c higher than the national average. The ACCC has found that is due to higher transport costs, higher operational costs and higher retail margins. On 16 December last year, the government renewed its direction to the ACCC to monitor the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of fuel products in Australia for a further three years. I would encourage all Australians to shop around and get the best possible deal.