Oct 24, 2005

Developing the Australian fuel industry – Labor’s plan



24 October 2005

Anthony Albanese, Federal Member for Grayndler and Shadow Minister for the Environment and Heritage, has drawn attention to Labor’s plan for tackling high petrol prices and Australia’s dependence on foreign oil.

Mr Albanese said, “Australian families are struggling with sharply rising fuel prices while scientists warn us about climate change, the effects of which are worsened by our continued dependence on fossil fuels.”

“Now more than ever, we need a long-term strategy to reduce our dependence on overseas oil and to embrace more sustainable alternatives.”

Labor’s Blueprint for Developing the Australian Fuel Industry, which was announced last week, outlines how national leadership by a Beazley Government would build a more sustainable Australian fuel industry and provide relief to Australian families at the bowser in the long-term.

“Seeing $5-a-litre prices at the pump within a decade is a real possibility. This would in turn create inflationary pressures, increasing the risk of interest rate rises further depressing economic activity – a potent mix indeed.”

“We must act now to confront these problems, yet the best John Howard has to offer is, and I quote:

“I can fully understand the anger of motorists at the price of petrol … world oil prices are not something the Australian Government, or any government, can influence. They are out of our control.”

“These comments again demonstrate how out of touch the Howard Government is on these issues,” said Mr Albanese.

“Now is the time for Federal leadership to develop:

  • existing alternatives like liquid petroleum gas, ethanol and biodiesel;
  • emerging alternatives such as compressed natural gas, liquid fuel from gas and stored electricity, and
  • future fuels, such as hydrogen,” said Mr Albanese.

“Labor’s blueprint is a real step towards tackling rising petrol prices and creating a more sustainable future. The complacency of the Howard Government on these issues will continue to hurt our country and our local communities, both now and in the long term,” he concluded.