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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 835 ..


passing of the appropriation bill for our public health system and are looking forward to continuing to work in partnership in government and on the crossbench to ensure that our healthcare system responds and rebuilds from COVID-19 and that we have a stronger and more responsive health system.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

ACT Health Directorate—Part 1.2

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Canberra Health Services—Part 1.3

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 11.59 am to 2.00 pm.

Questions without notice

Government—fuel pricing

MS LEE: My question is to the Chief Minister: Chief Minister, Canberra fuel prices reached a 12-month high this month, as Canberrans continue to pay more for fuel than motorists in other states do. In April last year you threatened petrol retailers who did not lower their price with intervention under the Fair Trading Act. Chief Minister, will you use powers under the Fair Trading Act to intervene and impose a cap to ensure that Canberrans are not continually ripped off at the petrol bowser?

MR BARR: When I made those statements ACT fuel prices were consistently above the Australian average. That has, fortunately, not been the case in the intervening 12-month period. There is some new data this week, but in fact last week ACT fuel prices were below the Australian average. That is the benchmark we have set: were prices in the ACT to be consistently higher than the Australian average, that would be the trigger for the government to seek to intervene. Since I made that very clear to the petroleum industry and the retailers, amazingly, we have seen fuel prices in the ACT at or below the average price Australia-wide.

Of course, prices have gone up since the peak of the pandemic because demand has gone up and the wholesale price has gone up. But what we do see in the ACT is much more stability within our prices, whereas in Sydney they tend to fluctuate. Last week, it was about $1.68 a litre on average in Sydney and closer to $1.45 here in the ACT, but in another week, Sydney prices can fall below ours. Ours tend to be very stable.

The short answer to the Leader of the Opposition’s question is yes, prices have increased; they have done so across the world and across Australia and they have


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