Posted by: Bruce | May 21, 2012

A.C.C.C.’s inquiry into petrol price fixing. A waste of energy and over 30 years too late.

More annoying than the Australian Government and Opposition blowing hot air over our banking institutions unpopular behaviour is yet another inquiry into petrol price fixing in Australia.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (A.C.C.C.) wants to look at the practice of oil companies and supermarkets providing their fuel prices to a business called Informed Sources and, in return for payment, receive prices being charged by other companies (competitors).

Can’t see much that can be done about this practice. After all, the information is available publicly from heaps of sources. Other industries would do it too.

Fuel prices attract a lot of attention from the Australian public and rightly so because fuel prices hurt our wallets. Not the elected Governments though. It’s the opposite because of the huge Federal taxes (indexed) on each litre of fuel. State Government’s get in for their chop as well.

The announcement and fluff of these inquiries is patronising, useless, insulting and nothing but window dressing to keep the voters happy; look busy, get those rotten, stinkey oil companies, keep the baby boomers at bay……

If anyone wants to know about price fixing, ask the Federal Opposition for a history lesson.

In 1978, P.M. Malcolm Fraser (Liberal Government) said Australia was to price our fuel in accordance with world oil prices. OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to fix the fuel prices so everyone else had to pay the same price. Kind of like a license to print money.

Fraser said that Australia was to have world oil pricing parity and so we did. Overnight, the price of our fuel (and everything else) jumped (was taxed) enormously and has never looked back, despite Australia being able to produce at least 50% of our own requirements.

Fraser called it Oil Parity pricing, everyone else called it a Tax or Growth Tax. The Lib.Gov’t at the time funnily enough, had budget problems (John Howard Treasurer) and this enormous cash cow helped a bit. Not enough to keep them in power though. The Hawke Labour government turfed out the Fraser Gov’t which had left Australia officially in recession.

Bob Hawke recognised how the fuel tax issue hurt everyone and used this carrot as part of his sales pitch to win the vote. He would wind the tax back, make fuel affordable etc….. He was voted in and dropped the fuel tax a few miserable cents to keep the donkeys happy. He was never going to reverse the Fraser Gov’ts tax and no party will. One (1) cent per litre adds to a few hundred million dollars per year; it’s a serious source of income.

Oil Parity Pricing was called a Growth Tax; I like to think of it as our first Carbon Tax. The Carbon Tax (Carbon Tax No.2) introduced by the Gillard Labour Gov’t will also be a cash cow and will never be rescinded by Tony Abbott (Liberal Opp. Leader) should he become PM at the next election. What a choice; Labour continuing or Work Choices from Abbott. Crap, give me an onion in the eye.

What next, World labour parity pricing under Work Choices?

When taxation (indexed to increase with fuel price) represents approximately 50% of the price of fuel per litre, it’s not the oil companies who should get all the attention, yet they do. Our gov’t parties continue the price fixing tradition and deflect the subject so easily.

Never did believe the reasoning behind parity pricing. Still don’t and I vote.

Papers refuel the flames of history – Local News – News – General – The Warrnambool Standard

Fuel Tax Inquiry – Industry Submissions

Words for today:

“Sleight of hand”………. Skill and dexterity in juggling or conjuring tricks. Adroitness in deception.

“Perception”……..a capacity for comprehension, a direct or intuitive cognition.

More to come; same blog time, same blog channel.


  1. Hi,
    It will be interesting to see how much the fuel will be when the carbon tax comes in. Even though the tax itself is not on fuel, it is on electricity, so obviously the price at the pump will go up, the pumps are run on power, the lighting, fridges etc. in all the garages, this extra cost will be passed on. (sigh)

    Also I am waiting to see if the GST goes on before the carbon tax or after the carbon tax is added.


    • Hi Mags, yep, everything will increase it seems. It’s just another tax but universal in its impact. Bruce


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