Bligh 'misleading' on impact of fuel subsidy demise

Premier Anna Bligh warns oil companies against taking advantage of motorists, as fuel subsidy ends

As Queenslanders prepare for an increase in fuel prices from tomorrow due to the demise of the fuel subsidy, Premier Anna Bligh has warned oil companies against taking advantage of motorists.

Referring to the 2007 Pincus Report, Bligh claims prices should rise by six cents a litre.

"What the report showed was that, on average, consumers were only getting 6 cents benefit from the subsidy," Bligh says.

"[If there is] any rise above that and [oil] companies have got some explaining to do."

But her comments have sparked a backlash from the Queensland Trucking Association, which has accused Bligh of misleading motorists.

"Nowhere in the Pincus Inquiry is it concluded that only 6 cents per litre of the subsidy was passed on to consumers," QTA Chief Executive Peter Garske says.

"The removal of the subsidy can only mean that retail outlets will no longer receive the 8.354 cents per litre and will charge the trucking industry accordingly."

The RACQ is backing Garske’s comments, saying it is likely Queensland prices will rise by as much as 126 cents per litre in major centres.

Terminal gate pricing data from the Australian Institute of Petroleum shows average prices in Brisbane this week were 118.5 cents per litre.

"Regardless of whether oil companies or others in the fuel industry have been ‘capturing’ part of the subsidy, the cold commercial fact is that retailers will seek to maintain their current margins," the RACQ’s general manager for external affairs, Gary Fites, says.

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