23 November 2015 - Territory Labor Leader Michael Gunner today announced a Labor Government will accept and implement all recommendations of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on fuel prices in Territory.
“The ACCC’s recommendations will help lock in the reduced fuel prices resulting from the successful NT News, Channel 9 and Mix 104.9 FM media campaign,” Mr Gunner said.
The ACCC today has recommended:
“The success of the sustained media campaign by Channel 9, the NT News and Mix 104.9 is widely acknowledged as having driven down the price of petrol.
“Now we have an opportunity to place more downward pressure on those lower prices through the ACCC’s recommendations.
“If we can lock these prices over a long term it will be a significant ongoing benefit to Territorians,” Michael Gunner said.
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, has called on Adam Giles and the CLP Government to stop playing politics with the pain Territorians are feeling at the bowser.
Ms Lawrie said that the facts show a different picture to what Adam Giles is trying to peddle.
“In 2011 fuel prices in the Territory reached a high average of 154.3 cents per litre,” Ms Lawrie said.
“A similar increase was felt the world over amid concerns that unrest in the Middle East and North Africa could affect supply and continued global recovery post global financial crisis.
“The prices then decreased month on month to August 2011 where they averaged 150.5 cents per litre.
“In August 2012 when the CLP came into Government, Territory fuel prices were around 154.6 cents per litre.
“Since then fuel prices in the Territory have soared up to, and have stayed high, at the 173 cents per litre we are seeing today.
“Territorians are now paying an extra $13 to fill a car compared to two years ago.”
Ms Lawrie said that according to a presentation by the AANT to the Fuel Price Summit, the Territory fuel market is no longer following the trend of the terminal gate price which is what is causing concern for Territory motorists.
“Tuesday’s Fuel Price Summit also revealed that retail margins in Darwin have increased from 9.7 cents per litre to 23.8 cents per litre.”
Ms Lawrie said that Territorians are looking to the Government to take real action against high fuel prices that are breaking Territory budgets such as actively supporting an independent retailer committed to being a price leader entering the market.
Ms Lawrie has repeated Labor's calls for:
* a SmartApp allowing consumers to support best price at bowser - active competition,
* fight the Liberal fuel excise that will increase petrol prices, and
* facilitate greater competition in the market by releasing prime service/commercial sites that were due to go to an Expression of Interest two months ago.
“Adam Giles needs to stop looking in his distorted rear-view mirror for a political blame-game and get on with the job of dealing with the unacceptably high fuel prices affecting Territorians,” Ms Lawrie said.
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, today said data shown at the Fuel Price Summit shows prices spiked up and stayed significantly higher post August 2012.
Ms Lawrie said the Government's carefully stage-managed summit did not allow questions or comments from attendees which prompted audience frustration.
"Territorians walked away with fewer answers than questions despite data being provided by industry participants," Ms Lawrie said.
"Despite a doubling of inflation coinciding with price spikes when PowerWater charges were hiked up by the CLP, this impact didn't get an airing.
"The AANT fuel price chart shows a hike post August 2012 - showing the CLP inflation pain felt at all businesses and household.
"At the end of this talkfest Labor continues to call for action to help drive prices down."
"Time to stop the talkfest and get on with action that is practical and puts downward pressure on fuel prices," Ms Lawrie said.
"Labor stands ready to pursue this with further inquiries but let's get on with some action with the three simple steps we propose.
"Unsurprisingly the CLP stage-managed talkfest ignored their own goal of the suggested use of the Price Exploitation Prevention Act."
Media contact: Cathryn Tilmouth 0427 500 667
Shadow Minister for Government Accountability, Ken Vowles, said Territorians were paying too much at the petrol bowser while Adam Giles dithers.
Mr Vowles said it's been nine days since the CLP flagged the potential use of Price Exploitation Prevention Act and now it is clear Territorians had been subject to a cruel stunt.
"Chief Minister Adam Giles has walked away from intervening in fuel prices using the price exploitation law but you have to wonder why it took more than a week of CLP chaos.
“Adam Giles has announced a Fuel Price Summit and we hope it's not just another talk fest,” Mr Vowles said.
“The cost of living in the Territory is too high and is hurting families and local businesses.
“The CLP Government made a promise to reduce the cost of living but instead we've seen inflation double, power and water price hikes, housing costs rising and fuel prices a killer.
“Territorians are fed up and are calling for less pain at the bowser. It's time for the CLP to fight the Liberal Canberra fuel excise increase that will add to price at bowser."
Mr Vowles said Labor hopes the CLP heeds the call of Territorians to reduce our crippling cost of living.
“The CLP Government has added to the burden of families and businesses with their PowerWater price hikes and another 5% increase will hit Territorians in January.”
Leader of the Opposition, Delia Lawrie, has called on Chief Minister Adam Giles to confirm if the CLP Government is going to use the Price Exploitation Legislation to reduce the price of fuel.
“We continue to question if the CLP Government will take action to ease the pain Territorians are feeling at the petrol bowser. Territorians deserve an answer,” Ms Lawrie said.
“The high cost of living in the Territory is crippling families; high power and water bills, housing costs and fuel are stretching household budgets to breaking point.
”This legislation was never raised as an option to Labor in Government, if the CLP think it is an option then get on with it.”
Ms Lawrie asked whether the CLP political stunt of a week ago will be resolved. Is the legislation going to be used to tackle the exorbitant price of fuel?
“We’ve had conflicting messages from the CLP Government and buck-passing to a junior member of their parliamentary wing and now the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs,” Ms Lawrie said.
The Attorney General John Elferink says: “We’ve got Nathan Barrett, the parliamentary secretary, looking at this issue, working with the consumer affairs commissioner and we’ll see what comes out of it.” (NT News, 20/09/2014)
Minister for Tourism Matt Conlon: “I think we need to have a sobered, considered look at this. This Act is there, primarily and specifically, and really only to address situations in natural disasters or even threat to national security. It's not there to assist in markets with fuel prices or anything else.“ (Nine News, 22/09/2014)
Member for Daly Gary Higgins says: “It’s good for stopping rip offs and it’s good for controlling prices but only very much in the short term. It’s, to me it’s just not a long term solution.” (ABC Radio, 23/09/2014)
Deputy Chief Minister Peter Chandler: “It does sit with the Attorney-General. What I can say though is that if we’re serious about looking at this and you’ve got to go with the legal advice and I know that the Commissioner at the moment is seeking legal advice to see whether this particular legislation can be used at these times and not just in times of a national emergency.” (Territory FM, 24/09/2014)
Ms Lawrie said Territorians are sick of the buck-passing and it’s time for Adam Giles to let us know what advice his Government has received from the Solicitor General in relation to whether the legislation can be used to reduce petrol prices and whether or not they would act.
“End this chaos now. Let Territorians know if the legislation will be used to reduce petrol prices or hold an Inquiry into what actions can be taken to reduce price gouging at the bowser,” Ms Lawrie said.