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this Government is a very persuasive government, a very powerful government, a government that people all over the country sit up and take notice of; but, notwithstanding that, I express great surprise that we are such an influential government that we can influence the wholesale price of petrol in Sydney. Mr Speaker, the fact is that since the beginning of this year there has been a quite marked rise in the price of petrol not just in the ACT but all over Australia. I suspect that this reflects movements in crude oil prices and rises in prices of petrol all over the world.

The wholesale price of petrol in Sydney stood at 67.59c on 1 February. On 1 June it was 68.84c a litre; on 1 July it was 69.18c a litre; on 1 August it was 69.87c a litre; and on 15 August - the last figures I have available - it was 70.25c a litre, showing a rise of almost 3c a litre. I am prepared to wear a lot of things, but I am not responsible for the rise in the price of petrol across the whole country. The critical question, Mr Speaker, is not how the price of petrol rises or falls in Canberra. The question, surely, is: What is the differential between the price of petrol in Canberra and the price of petrol in other parts of Australia? Surely that is the critical question of performance as far as this or any other government is concerned. On that question, Mr Speaker, I think our Government does particularly well. On 1 February this year the average retail price in Sydney was 69c a litre; in Canberra it was 74.5c a litre - a difference of 5.5c a litre.

Mr Connolly: Gary, for a couple of days. You know that this is nonsense.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, that was what it was on 1 February. That was the order of what it was on 1 February, and I can take other figures - - -

Mr Wood: You are the master of timing, too; pick the time.

MR HUMPHRIES: I can take other figures. You choose other days, Mr Connolly. We can look at other days as well. On 1 August this year the price in Sydney was 70.5c; in Canberra it was 73.9c - a differential of 3.4c a litre. On 15 August, on the latest figures available to me, the price in Sydney was 72.5c; in Canberra it was 74.9c - less than 2.5c greater in Canberra than in Sydney.

Mr Berry: Get away!

MR HUMPHRIES: Those are facts, Mr Berry. If you do not like them you find someone else to fish out your own figures.

Mr Berry: Nobody believes you; they never have. You have let it go too long to try to win back your credibility.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, these are facts. If Mr Berry has better facts let him find them from the Shonky and Co. petrol company; show us where they are. The critical question is the difference in retail price between Sydney and Canberra, and on that question we have done very well. Mr Speaker, I refer to the retail margins in Canberra and Sydney. On 1 February there was a much higher retail margin in Canberra than there was in Sydney - 5.5c a litre versus about 1.5c a litre in Sydney. On 15 August, the latest available figures, that had risen in the case of Sydney to about 2.5c a litre;

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