RACT general manager for member assist Darren Moody says it is ‘‘vitally important’’ that Tasmania is included in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s inquiry into high fuel prices in Australia.
In the past 12 weeks, the average cost of unleaded petrol across the nation has fallen to 122¢, while Tasmanians have paid an average of 138¢ a litre at the petrol pump.
Yesterday ACCC chairman Rod Sims said three rural Australian towns would be used as case studies throughout 2015 and monitored by the ACCC to uncover why fuel prices were significantly higher in regional Australia than in metropolitan areas.
Mr Sims said the three case studies would be confirmed next week, but he would not say whether Tasmania would be featured in the list.
‘‘What I can say is that wherever we choose will have wider implications because we’ll know a lot more about cost structure for regional fuel prices,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re going to be reporting on petrol prices everywhere and that will include Tasmania.’’
Mr Moody said the pressure was on the ACCC to get results for Tasmania.
‘‘There’s noise coming from the state government and the Liberal members in Federal Parliament,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s vitally important that we are included in this inquiry.’’
Local Government Association of Tasmania president Barry Jarvis has joined the chorus of Tasmanians fighting for a change.
Cr Jarvis yesterday said he will consider collecting the signatures of the state’s mayors in an effort to force action from the ACCC against high fuel prices.
He said he will contact mayors in the coming weeks to discuss the possibility of tabling a letter on behalf of local government in Tasmania.
The letter would include signatures from mayors fed up with the ACCC’s lack of action against Tasmanian fuel prices.
The possibility will be brought up at LGAT’s quarterly general meeting in Brighton on February 13.
‘‘We’ll certainly consider a letter. It’s probably worthwhile. If we get the OK from the [LGAT] CEO, then we’ll go ahead with it.’’
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten and Break
O’ Day Mayor Mick Tucker yesterday said they would support the move.
‘‘Yes … The ACCC has also recently announced that it will investigate fuel prices in three regional Australian areas, and I’m hopeful that Tasmania will be included in that,’’ Alderman van Zetten said.
‘‘We are being screwed when it comes to diesel and screwed when it comes to petrol,’’ Cr Tucker said.
‘‘I would happily take part signing the letter.’’
Wayne Dargin, of Prospect, fills up in Prospect at Caltex. Picture: MARK JESSER
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