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Nats propose inquiry into regional fuel prices

The reasons why country motorists pay more to fill up at the bowser than their city counterparts are under the microscope after The Nationals proposed an inquiry in the Victorian Parliament this week.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said the proposed inquiry would examine the discrepancies in fuel pricing across Victoria and the effects on regional communities. If approved by Parliament, it would be undertaken by Parliament’s Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee.

“This enquiry will be welcomed across the electorate. I regularly have people raise the issue of fuel pricing with me as I travel throughout Gippsland,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Fuel prices and the disparity between towns and from city to country are a constant frustration for people, especially when price fluctuations follow no logical pattern.

“Petrol is a cost of living problem for many families and coupled with the current dairy crisis filling up the family car can be a stressful experience for many in my electorate.”

Mr O’Brien said in areas like Sale, Korumburra and Yarram public transport was often not a viable option, meaning many relied on the family car to get from A to B.

“Also making filling up in the country more painful is the fact that there’s little movement in the price of fuel in regional Victoria, unlike the constant cycle seen in metropolitan areas,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We must clear up the lack of explanation on price discrepancies between metropolitan and regional, and even regional and regional areas.

“This inquiry would lift the lid on the pricing and consider the real-life experiences of Victorians.”

Mr O’Brien said the inquiry would examine a number of areas, including the methods used to price fuels, why pricing discrepancies occurred between metro and regional, the best ways to reduce prices, tools to compare prices, the impact of costs on various groups in the community and regulation and legislation that effect fuel prices.

Mr O’Brien encouraged residents to enter their cost of living estimates, including fuel expenses, on the Coalition’s CostWatch website at costwatch.com.au so that rural MPs have more information to fight to a better deal for rural motorists.

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