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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2240 ..


MS FOLLETT (11.16): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to amend my motion in the terms that I have specified in the handwritten amendment that I have circulated.

Leave granted.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Assembly appoints a Select Committee to inquire into and report on means of reducing petrol prices in the ACT so that they are similar to those in other cities. The Select Committee shall consist of the following members:

Ms Follett;

Mr Osborne; and

Mr Kaine

and shall report to the Assembly by the last sitting day in June 1997.

I will speak to the motion very briefly, Mr Speaker. I realise that the Assembly has previously, through its committee system, looked at petrol pricing in the ACT; but there are a range of recent developments which I believe make it appropriate for the Assembly again to have a look at this issue.

One of the developments is recent research that has been done by the Charles Sturt University and by the NRMA. I am also aware that the Competition and Consumer Council has a reference on petrol pricing. I believe that the Assembly would want to inform itself of the state of that research and its findings. It is also the case, Mr Speaker, that we have seen petrol prices increase consistently and steadily in the Territory over the past year and a half or so. Most recently - in fact, in June of this year - we saw petrol prices increase by 2c a litre in the Territory, in a month when the wholesale petrol price actually went down. I believe that in the interests of Canberra motorists we elected representatives should try to establish the cause of those, in my view, unwarranted increases in petrol prices and in as bipartisan a fashion as is possible try to establish whether there is action, and if so what action, that could be taken by this Assembly or by the ACT Government that might give some relief to the motorists of the ACT.

I propose the establishment of a select committee. I have consulted with all of the groupings in the Assembly as to the make-up of that committee, and the names that are put forward are agreed. Mr Speaker, I think this will be a very interesting inquiry, and it is my hope that we come up with some recommendations that will be to the benefit of motorists in the Territory.

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