Fuel prices for rural motorists continue on a high

Rural residents continue to be disadvantaged by escalating fuel prices, with no relief in sight.

Despite Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP’s best efforts to introduce an amendment to the Fair Trading (Fuel Price Information) Amendment Bill in State Parliament last week and his attempt to achieve a fuel subsidy for regional motorists, both were defeated.

“People living in rural areas do not have the luxury of public transport, or even a stable road network,” Mr Brock said.

“Residents do not live within walking distance of services and facilities and spend hundreds of dollars a month on fuel just to get to work or go shopping.”

Mr Brock’s amendments aimed to establish a scheme to subsidise the retail sales of fuel in parts of South Australia, where fuel cannot otherwise be sold at a reasonable cost to consumers, would have levelled the playing field for regional and rural residents in comparison with their suburban counterparts.

“As well as the subsidies, I also moved an amendment to the Bill which would see evidence of price gouging or market inefficiency in retail fuel pricing for any area of the State to be referred to the Essential Services Commission for action,” Mr Brock said.

“Country motorists should get a fair go – there have been huge swings in the price of petrol in  metropolitan Adelaide with fuel prices surging in some areas despite oil and wholesale prices remaining low and retailer margins at record highs – something needs to be done.”

Mr Brock said he understood that fuel prices in regional areas were also affected by transport costs but believes rural businesses and the agriciultural industry in particular needed to be supported through an equitable subsidy.