Fuel hearing warms debate

By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THE PRICE of fuel generated passion at yesterday's public hearing into petrol pricing in the state, held by the Queensland Impact of Petrol Pricing Select Committee.

Chair Andrew Fraser MP said the issue that generated most discussion was the disparity between the level of fuel excise and the amount of that excise going back into roads infrastructure.

Mr Fraser said participants at the hearing were concerned that the amount of fuel excise raised was in the realm of $14 billion yet only about $3 billion of that was spent on roads.

One participant stated that until 1963 all fuel excise raised went towards roads infrastructure.

A particular concern for business operators was the effect of competition in the marketplace. Petrol retailers have been unable to secure stocks of fuel, particularly those retailers requiring smaller stocks. Mr Fraser said there was a lot of discussion surrounding ethanol and its use.

"There are still a lot of questions on the impact of ethanol on our vehicles,'' he said.

Mr Fraser said the purpose of the inquiry was to gauge the impact of petrol prices in regional areas.

The inquiry is travelling throughout Queensland and will bring out its report by March 31 next year.



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