Last weekend - while you were taking the kids to the beach, buying those extra back-to-school necessities, or for many, still counting the toll of recent devastating floods – unleaded petrol prices in capital cities rose an average 15 cents a litre at Coles and Woolworths outlets to a massive 143.9 cents per litre.  And those ridiculous rises were matched in part by the Independents and other chains.

Ahhh, the good old days. Pic: Brett Faulkner

So what’s the story?

On Saturday, the wholesale price of petrol actually dropped by more than half a cent, yet on the weekend we were hit with a massive 15 cent increase.  The size of the hike was described as “staggering” by FUELtrac general manager Greg Trotter.  He rightly pointed out that the prices we are now paying at the pump rival those records in 2008 when oil hit a peak of $US145 a barrel.  The big difference is that the current price of oil is only around the $US90 mark.

So, what’s the story? Or perhaps more appropriately, where’s the story?

Buried a few pages in on most major daily newspapers.

Have we truly become so accustomed to rising prices under Labor that a wild fluctuation like this is barely noticed?  Have we been levied, taxed and beaten into submission by so many cost of living rises?
Labor used to talk a lot about the cost of living pressure on working families – of course, that was before they spent the surplus we had saved for a rainy day and decided to just whack us with an extra tax when that rainy day arrived with a vengeance.

The fact is Labor policy is driving many of the cost-of-living pressures we now face – especially rising utility bills that will be pushed up even further by Gillard’s carbon tax.

NSW Labor Premier Christine Keneally correctly identified Gillard’s flood tax as another burden on the already stretched family budget.

The point is – most family budgets are not elastic.  There is only so far they can stretch.  But Labor is either turning a blind eye or doesn’t care that cost of living pressures are becoming unbearable for many families. It’s a big slug on Australian families when you go to fill the tank and pay $10 more than you would normally

I’m not suggesting that the weekend fuel hike is Labor’s fault but they’ve been very silent and won’t even contemplate doing anything about it.  Just because Labor was forced to abandon the costly and useless “Fuelwatch” scheme – which was anti-competitive and would have put further pressure on prices – doesn’t mean they should just drop the ball on this issue.

It doesn’t mean that they just sit idly by and watch people gouged and budgets stretched to breaking point by a ridiculous weekend hike in the price of petrol. 

At a time when we are grappling with the costs of a massive recovery effort, and facing tax hikes courtesy of the Gillard government, the last thing we need is unwarranted fuel hikes further adding to the pressure.  And yet all we’ve had from Labor is silence.

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    • Against the Man says:

      05:50am | 01/02/11

      Firstly this is a non issue for Gillard. She doesn’t care about Australian families. You see she can’t juggle more than 1 problem at a time and when a problem gets too complex she moves on to something else. What solutions do we have for asylum seekers, carbon emissions, gay marriage, health care reforms, non-tax solution for the QLD floods, education, controlling the chaos at the State ALP level etc? Any solutions for anything?

      Secondly, Gillard is laughing at you and doesn’t give a damn about your plight.

      Electricity, gas, fuel, grocery, private health insurance (thanks roxon), new taxes all coasting more and more each month…..the Australian family needs to fuel some backlash against the one with no family!

      How could we have Gillard as fake PM after all the non achievement of air hostie fighting millionaire ex-PM Rudd?

      Wake up Australia!

    • Seano says:

      06:43am | 01/02/11

      Does Gillard have talons and horns and eat babies too?

      Who do you think you’re convincing with this rhetoric? There can’t be than many who’ve also lost their tin foil hats.

    • Jade says:

      09:59am | 01/02/11

      @ Seano, who needs convincing? most people see her and her government for what they are.

    • Seano says:

      10:31am | 01/02/11

      @Jade - judging by the last election “most people” could see Tony Abbott and the opposition “fow what they are” too.

    • WayneT says:

      01:00pm | 01/02/11

      Seano, would that be why the election was basically a dead heat with no clear winner?  It required independents to make the final call.  It appears the public didn’t like Gillard’s BS either.

    • John A Neve says:

      06:38pm | 01/02/11

      A the M,
      Perhaps you could tell us how this is a political issue?

      In this country we opted for a free enterprize system, we don’t like government control, do we?

      We sold off just about all the publics assets, free enterprize is better, isn’t it”

      Well this is free enterprize at it’s very best, pay up and stop whinging.

    • Seano says:

      08:42pm | 01/02/11

      @Wayne - Yes that’s the point I was making, Abbott is no more popular than Gillard.

    • Seano says:

      06:49am | 01/02/11

      What did the LNP do about petrol pricing when they were in power for 11 years? Nothing. But fair enough that doesn’t excuse a lack of action from the current government. So what do the LNP propose besides windy rhetoric? Is the supposed silence from Labor any worse than your whining Sophie?

    • Nafe says:

      11:49am | 01/02/11

      As a liberal supporter, it would be interesting to know that the Liberal Party would do to relieve Petrol Pricing.

      As much as i like the current crop of liberals, at some point, an alternative policy is needed to prove some lagitimacy as an alternative government.

    • Muttley says:

      01:10pm | 01/02/11

      Spot on. What the hell will the libs do that is any different. This is just more mindless PR. Labour hopeless. No argument, and that is from a life long Labour supporter. But if the libs want any credibilty at all, dont just whine. Tell us how you would make a difference.

    • Seano says:

      01:11pm | 01/02/11

      Anything would be better than the empty whinging they’re giving us at the moment. Personally I don’t think any pollie, regardless of politcal stripe should open their trap to crticise the other side unless it’s to also offer us a better alternative.

    • Dave-o says:

      04:49pm | 01/02/11

      They didn’t do nothing, the introduced an LPG rebate….. which is being capped to pay for the flood clean-up.

    • persephone says:

      07:32pm | 01/02/11

      Dave o

      And before that, they raised the taxes on LPG.

    • David LD says:

      07:08am | 01/02/11

      Naturally, the free market and less regulations under a Liberal-National Party government would see lower petrol prices and fuel that produced rainbows that whiten your teeth as by-products.

      Get a grip on yourself, Sophie.

      I’d be a lot more interested in what you had to say if you were actually offering a solution.

    • iansand says:

      07:12am | 01/02/11

      Quite right, Sophie.  When will Mr Abbott announce his policy to rein in fuel price rises and control the petrol retailers?  It should be a ripper.

    • MarK says:

      09:24am | 01/02/11

      No he won’t.

      He will not do a Rudd and make insanely stupid promises that he will cut the cost of living by tossing a few tens of millions at a website. He will not tell lies like Gillard does to secure an election and then flip flop using a natural disaster as cowardly political cover for revenue raising.

      What Abbott will do is what he already done. Make sensible and coherent economic policy that gives Australia the best chance to keep an even keel during times of economic uncertainty.

      You know. Like the 12 years of Howard and Costello did that ensured the GFC was not that bad here?

      Only one party makes outrageous and totally ridiculous lies about their ability to do “something” and then reneges..

      Only one party delivers surpluses and economic management that is sane on a consistent basis.

      Only one party promises the utterly incredulous statement that it WILL deliver a surplus on a given date.

      It ain’t that hard to see who the grown ups are.

      Given Labor’s track record of lack of achievement over its 2 PM’s and 1 term and a bit in power I find it amusing you are trying to tease out of Sophie the solution. Run out of ideas? How is that Carbon Tax coming along?

    • James1 says:

      09:50am | 01/02/11

      I can’t wait for this utopia you speak of MarK.  You just make it sound so good…

      This is not to say I support the current government, but if you keep your hopes as high as they are, you will be seriously disappointed when the Coalition comes to power again (it is only a matter of time - sorry nossy!) and it turns out to be full of politicians who act just like politicians.  I wish I had your blind faith, I really do.  You are a genuine true believer, MarK.  To you, the Coalition is as perfect as Labor is to pers.

    • Tim says:

      12:25pm | 01/02/11

      MarK,
      what no promises like an insane parental leave program paid for by business that goes against Liberal philosophy?
      No Abbott would never make wild promises to try to get into power.
      *snickers*

    • The Badger says:

      01:00pm | 01/02/11

      tim
      You mean the one that was to be paid for by a levy? Oops, sorry a great big new tax to use the liberal vernacular.
      Like the milk, sugar, gun buyback and other great new big taxes brought in by the big taxing conservatives?
      Wonder how many other “great big new taxes” the conservatives have on the planning board.

      The website mark is trying to rubbish because his beloved conservatives blocked saves me at lease 20 dollars every time I fill up in West Australia. Don’t know about anyone else, but spending 20$ less every time I fill up, does cut my cost of living expenses.
      Perhaps mark doesn’t drive.

    • MarK says:

      01:12pm | 01/02/11

      “I can’t wait for this utopia you speak of MarK.  You just make it sound so good…”

      Utopia? Nah just business as usual without the waste.

      ”  This is not to say I support the current government, but if you keep your hopes as high as they are, you will be seriously disappointed when the Coalition comes to power again (it is only a matter of time - sorry nossy!) and it turns out to be full of politicians who act just like politicians.”

      Errr what hopes? I said a few truths that is all. Fell free to tell me where I went on a hope train?

      Was it when I said “Only one party delivers surpluses and economic management that is sane on a consistent basis.” Is that wrong? Does Labor deliver deliver surpluses consistently and not waste money like a drunken sailor?

      Or “Only one party promises the utterly incredulous statement that it WILL deliver a surplus on a given date.” - please point out where the coalition has given this promise.

      What exactly is the utopian part of my post?

      Feel free to quote liberally (no pun intended). My hopes are not “high” at all. Do I think the coalition would be better economic managers than Rudd - Gillard - Swan. Well yah. Is that a radical idea?

      Very interesting. You seem to read a whole lot more into what I wrote than is there.

      ”  I wish I had your blind faith, I really do.”

      Blind faith? hahahahahahahaha

      Really after fuel watch, the BER, green schemes, pin batts, free jets for tourists etc etc etc you think I don’t have any empirical evidence to back up my claim?

      You can’t be serious can you?

        “You are a genuine true believer, MarK”

      Actually I am not. I am a conservative. First time I voted for the Nationals in or liberals in many a year was this election just gone.

      Really you don’t read what I write and just take it to nth degree on no basis.

      ”  To you, the Coalition is as perfect as Labor is to pers.”

      Nothing is that perfect. And I feel the Libs have many flaws.

      Feel free to contradict me with all the examples where I have heaped glowing praise on the Liberals. Please do it. I admire Abbott a lot. He took a party that was, in a lot of commentators eyes gone for a generation if not forever and made them competitive. He saw Rudd gone. He will see Gillard go.

      When he is in power I will critique his work as well. Right now he is an extremely effective opposition leader. That is all. He also has Labor troggs in a flap.

      I find that as funny as hell.

      @Tim - It was a weird promise. It came from left field. One thing I can say at least he would have implemented it. He has guts. Unlike others who change it all up. *snickers and dances like a drunken pelican*

      How is the star recruit going anyway? What was he in charge of again? Getting the coffee? Ohhhh that’s right he is one of the 7,467 education ministers. Just enough to spread accountability.

    • Tim says:

      01:44pm | 01/02/11

      C’mon MarK,
      you were having a go at others for relying on hypotheticals in the other thread, don’t start using them yourself.
      I actually think Abbott would have dropped that parental leave scheme like a hot stone if he got into office. It was very strange.
      All I want from my politicians are some good ideas and consistency and Labor are about as consistent as the running of my 1990 Daewoo.
      However, articles like this that present no ideas just come across as a massive whinge. Sophie should either put up her ideas or shut up.

    • James1 says:

      01:49pm | 01/02/11

      Maybe I have been misreading you MarK.  I just assumed that you think things will be different under the other side, based on the things you say, like “Only one party promises the utterly incredulous statement that it WILL deliver a surplus on a given date.”

      Actually, not only one party does that.  Most of them do, in case you didn’t notice.  At least since they decided that surpluses were a good thing.

      Or “Only one party makes outrageous and totally ridiculous lies about their ability to do “something” and then reneges.”  Actually, they all do that too.

      Or “He will not tell lies like Gillard does to secure an election and then flip flop”.  I hate to break it to you, but he probably will.  If you honestly believe that, be prepared for disappointment, is all I am saying.

      On the economic utopia you have foreseen, you offered us this: “What Abbott will do is what he already done. Make sensible and coherent economic policy that gives Australia the best chance to keep an even keel during times of economic uncertainty.”  Compared to what we have now, that is a utopia.  Also it won’t happen.  Like any other politician, he will make economic policy that gives his party the best chance of being reelected.

      I am also a conservative, but I am a realist first.  And wonderful as he may seem to you, Tony Abbott is a politician, and that makes him slightly more trustworthy than a real estate agent in my view.

    • Mitch says:

      02:16pm | 01/02/11

      Interventionist policy trying to keep prices down is the driving force for this kind of rip off behaviour from large companies. They exploit the laws that try to cap their prices by telling the public that the cost of conforming to the new rules is large and as a publicly listed company their first responsibility is to the shareholders. Nevermind that a majority of shareholders only have small stakes and their dividends don’t cover the cost of their petrol…

      Coles and Woolies are obviously working together to limit competition and create a duopoly. To stop this kind of behavior, we need to remove any legislation that the companies can claim costs them money and drives prices higher, and force them to lower their prices accordingly.
      We need tougher legislation to punish anticompetitive behavior and blatant profiteering. This will not affect the free market as companies gain business by remaining competitive with pricing, it is unacceptable that they be conversing with each other to equally share blame and create a perception that major price fluctuation be a normal part of life. Don’t put a cap on prices, rip the rug out from under them.

    • murray says:

      07:24am | 01/02/11

      Why should the government interfere with the affairs of private businesses?  Sounds awfully interventionist for a conservative.

    • TChong says:

      07:24am | 01/02/11

      The sky is falling , the sky is falling, but whats this? 3rd last paragraph ?
      Its not Labors fault?
      Wow, Sophie, your ghost writer shows enough commonn sense and honesty to admit that the petrol price rises arnt Labors fault after all.
      Please explain ( as Pauline would say) how the federal govt can control petrol prices- any attempt to do so is nationalisation, isnt it? the very anathema for Liberals ( not the Nationals, they see nothing wrong in rural socialism).
      Hockey wants to nationalise the banking sector, Sophie advocating similar measures for petrol- I may just vote Liberal.

    • Todd says:

      07:46am | 01/02/11

      Totally Agree With Against the Man.

    • Adam Diver says:

      08:30am | 01/02/11

      Firstly I think you got the NSW premiers name wrong. Secondly why did this have to be an attack on the Labor party? It would add such credibility to state your case.

      The story itself is quite interesting, massive rises for no apparent reason and the fact that no-one has reported it. But this dissolved into typical mud-slinging, I am not even interested

    • Daniel says:

      08:35am | 01/02/11

      What did the Liberal party ever do when petrol was rising though Sophie under Howard? Not much.

    • rob foster says:

      08:48am | 01/02/11

      Has chongy got a day job or does he spends all of his life on here…very sad…

    • TChong says:

      09:24am | 01/02/11

      rob, i work a 38 hr week like most people, but my line of work involve outside standard 9 to 5 , so here I am.
      BTW , have a look at the posts, plenty of people blog alot, about a wide variety of topics.
      So on behalf of many regular Punchers, I’ll ask:
      Whats your problem?
      Sad-? go bite your bum, chum.  wink
      ( sincere apologies if you are new to this site, or else you have just started to mange to read more than 1 article a day, congratulations, hope you manage to read 2 or 3 articles, and comment)
      The Punch is an interesting site,the different POVs make it all worthwhile, hopefully yours included.

    • HappyCynic says:

      08:51am | 01/02/11

      Its kinda silly to blame any government for these problems.  People put their budgets in the mess they’re in, not governments.  If people wanted to fix their budgets they would, they obviously don’t though given the amount of whinging I hear.  Governments pander to this because they’re too shortsighted to view anything beyond the next election.

    • Danny B says:

      09:19am | 01/02/11

      HappyCynic,

      A weekly/fortnightly salary is a fixed amount, believe it or not.  Think of it as a bucket of water.  You can control how much water comes out of the bucket for each cost, but eventaully you’re going to get down to the last drops.  When you’ve been careful and still hit the bottom of the ‘bucket’ before covering costs of living, no amount of budgeting will fix this.

    • Rose says:

      10:11am | 01/02/11

      No but you could get a better job, a second job or do something (study, upskill) which gives you a higher earning potential Danny B.

    • Jason says:

      09:14pm | 01/02/11

      Your salary is only a fixed amount if you accept that.  For some, it’s easier to remain stagnant in their career or avoid learning new and more marketable skills and complain LOUDLY about a finite bucket to live on/expect government to look after you. 

      For others, they just upskill, start a new business, get a better job,  get a bigger bucket and upgrade the hose.  There is lots of money out there, stop whining and go get your share.  It’s all personal choice in a competitive world and if you choose not to compete, more for those who do.

    • ibast says:

      08:58am | 01/02/11

      Why is it Australian’s believe that petrol companies owe them something?  The fact is petrol is the price it is because people continue to pay for it.  The same people whinge that the roads are too crowded.

      The reality is petrol is actually cheap.  So if the Government is remiss, it is not for letting them be high, it is for not keeping them high enough.  It’s impossible to deny that the public transport network could do with some funds.

    • Steve M says:

      01:14pm | 01/02/11

      You are fortunate that Caltex (or is ir Shell) lets you log on during the day. Nice to have such a forgiving employer

    • loxy says:

      09:01am | 01/02/11

      Perhaps you should take a look back Sophie and you will very quickly see that both Liberal and Labour have equally pathetic records on tackling the price of petrol. Both governments have never had the balls to take on the petroleum companies or the banks or the large supermarkets. Both governments sit back and let the Australian people continually get ripped off. So off your high horse Sophie.

    • The Badger says:

      09:04am | 01/02/11

      Funnily enough, people are able to save money using fuelwatch in West Australia. You can save that 15 cents a litre just by going to the website and finding the cheapest petrol in your area.

      All Australians could have had this wonderful innovation which promotes cheaper fuel prices if the Liberals hadn’t blocked it in 2008.

      You did Australians outside of WA a disservice by your blocking agenda and you continue to do so under the leadership of Dr. NO.

    • Geoff Drucker says:

      09:07am | 01/02/11

      Not only was the oil price $145 in 2008, but the Aussie Dollar was fetching 90 US cents when now it’s around the $ for $ mark.

    • Levi says:

      09:11am | 01/02/11

      Ah and the crusted on Labor supporters are out in force yet again. Look at them go people. An unstoppable gravy train (only with no gravy, they spent it all).

    • nossy says:

      09:13am | 01/02/11

      Sophie you are my favourite Liberal and why pray tell arnt you having a go at the top job ?  You have a bar room brawler in Abbott as OIC at present who sadly has taken a few too many to the head - but you Sophie would be a breath of fresh air - I might just be tempted to “cross the floor” !

    • Vaunted says:

      09:16am | 01/02/11

      Gee Sophie, ‘Labor turning a blind eye to price hikes’, how can you say that? Have you forgotten ‘Grocery Watch’ and Fuel Watch’? Or can we put down those two stupid, wasteful, pointless programmes as stimulating the IT economy and providing employment for Labor mates?

    • Red says:

      10:56am | 01/02/11

      Fuel Watch was knocked on the head in the the Senate.
      The Lib/Nats run a very successful Fuel Watch in WA.
      I use the system and over the past year have paid 12c a Litre less than the average price

    • Charles says:

      09:22am | 01/02/11

      The “free” market (or greed) market at work! It has been rather obvious that the so called checks and balances in place to regulate prices across a number of industries are nothing but a bottomless pit for government (sorry our) money to disappear and allow the so called leaders of this nation to find an excuse for not acting!

    • Sam Chowder says:

      09:36am | 01/02/11

      People who live in large engined cars shouldn’t throw pump moans.

    • Flexo says:

      09:45am | 01/02/11

      Fair enough, lets not blame Labor for the price of fuel. But what has the ALP done to help keep costs down for struggling families? My grocery bill has doubled since the ALP have come into power but I get less for it (I buy as much homebrand and about to expire stuff as possible too). Like ATM said private health insurance has gone up but I’ve not gotten anything extra in my policy. New taxes, the cost of by electricity and water bill is increasing by leaps and bounds. What gives? What is the government doing to keep the cost of something down? The ALP is in government now, stop blaming and start doing.

    • James1 says:

      10:11am | 01/02/11

      Doing what?  Apart from the taxes, governments do not control any of those things - the market does.  Even in the case of SOEs like some electricity companies, unless the government is willing to subsidise losses, the market is the primary influence on prices.

      I understand that people are hurting, but what do they expect the government to do?  If the Coalition was in government, they would not do a thing, and rightly so.

      I never get the point of these sorts of posts.

    • AdamC says:

      10:35am | 01/02/11

      I agree with James1, what can the government do?

      And, I know pollies can’t say these sorts of things in real life, but are things really that bad? I mean, my grocery bill has probably risen since 2007, but it certainly hasn’t doubled. Aside from electricity costs, where something is clearly going wrong, I just don’t agree that these ‘cost of living pressures’ are as bad as some people are making out.

    • Mike T says:

      11:31am | 01/02/11

      @ Felxo….

      Great post mate, but can i pull you up on one thing (and this goes to alot of other people).

      Please drop the “strugling Families” line!!! Just change it to strugling people. Do you honestly think times are any easier for singles (try getting a mortgage on one wage) or a pensioner. Im not having a go at you, just pointing out that “non families” have as much hardship as any other group in society and we need to stop this push of “whats in it for families”.... you are not entitled to special circumstance because you have a wife and kids…..

    • Flexo says:

      11:39am | 01/02/11

      Sorry my mistake, when nicola roxon approved the private health insurance hike she wan’t part of the government, and the tax on fuel and this silly thing called the GST must be some private citizen policy. Oh that ‘something is clearly going wrong in electricity’ statement AdamC must be related to a non-government effort. Yes…right….the government isn’t really involved…..I see…....good to know…....

    • mike T says:

      11:42am | 01/02/11

      @ James…..

      I agree with you no governement has total control around the rising cost of living, but to make the statement that the rising cost of the things Flexo refers to is simply BS. Many of the rising costs can be direclty linked to incompetence or a “solution by taxes” mentaility. Case in point

      1. The costs of fuel ARE taxed (so govt somewhat sets the price)
      2. Power costs are being hiked/taxed, by the govt in to pay for repair of an unkept power grid and to fuel green schemes
      3. The Governement can/does subsidise priavate health, aswell they aprove costs in what the companies are allowed to charge the consumer
      4. New taxes are being introduced by the current govt (carbon, flood levy).

    • MarK says:

      01:13pm | 01/02/11

      “Doing what?  Apart from the taxes, governments do not control any of those things - the market does.”

      Why did Rudd and Gillard lie that they could then?

    • Muttley says:

      01:21pm | 01/02/11

      Mike T, Can you not see how supporting multiple people on a wage is more difficult than supporting one? So the phrase about struggling families is appropriate.

    • James1 says:

      01:55pm | 01/02/11

      MarK,

      Because they are politicians.  Its what they do to get elected.

    • charles says:

      02:48pm | 01/02/11

      The cost rises have come since the ALP came into power.

      No amount of excuses will change this. Whats worse is they said (lied) that they will bring the cost of living down.

      They are the cold hard truths and the only thing I and millions care about. I don’t want excuses, I want what they promised.

    • James1 says:

      03:02pm | 01/02/11

      Charles, one could say that cost rises have occurred always, and be correct.  It is part of a capitalist economy that inflation occurs.  If you thought that Rudd and Gillard would bring prices down because they said they would, then perhaps there is a lesson in this for you.

      You need to adjust your expectations to conform to reality, along with millions of others, rather than some pie in the sky promise made by a politician.

    • Mike T says:

      04:32pm | 01/02/11

      @ Mutley…

      most “families” i know mate have two wages. In fact i know very few that dont, so im not sure where you live.

      Is trying to run a family on 1.5-2 wages any easier then a single running a house one wage???? I think the tax concessions to “working families” are already sufficient, dont you?? or should the baby bonus/parental leave etc be double for you???

      I state again, i am fully aware that some families strugle, but most of the sinlges i know also find it VERY difficult to EVER get to the point where they can own a house on one wage. So im just not sure why the word struggle and family needs to be linked, unless it’s by those searching for something a little extra.

    • Flexo says:

      07:17am | 02/02/11

      Mike T, you are right it isn’t just families who are struggling, everyone of us in this country is paying a price for having a pathetic ALP government in charge. Lets hope for the best mate and this Gillard bird and her cronies gets replaced before Easter.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      10:39am | 01/02/11

      When the Liberals were in power, they subsidized the private health insurance sector, the private education sector and housing sector with the rationale of making things more affordable. What happened was that these markets were distorted with price increases beyond the CPI. They took the government money and jacked up the prices anyway. Thus endeth the lesson on Liberal market intervention

    • Amber says:

      11:11am | 01/02/11

      Gillard is a socio-path ..incapable of empathy. All her emotions are staged for political profit.  Who else forms her first lasting relationship at 45? and with a non-threatening partner? What kind of cerebral discourse passes between them I wonder. She needed a handbag for political purposes and a useful one that could do her hair at short notice.

    • AFR says:

      12:54pm | 01/02/11

      How about playing the ball, and not the man (or woman as it may be)?

    • St. Michael says:

      03:45pm | 01/02/11

      This would be the same Amber who believes that because she knows 2 parents who have autistic children that the MMR vaccine caused it?

    • Against the Man says:

      05:15pm | 01/02/11

      Gillard only cares about herself - family, friends the Australians that voted for her mean nothing to this selfish, self centered, poor excuse for a person. If she cared an ounce for this country how come she hasn’t done anything of great value for us? It is too much work and she would rather the easy way, so what if it doesn’t benefit us or our children’s future. That is the least of her concerns, that is way she never bothered with marriage or kids. There just isn’t room in the ‘real’ Julia universe for anyone or anything else…................

    • Tim says:

      12:27pm | 01/02/11

      So your solution is Sophie?
      Waiting…........................................

    • Richard says:

      12:42pm | 01/02/11

      Is this 2 stories auto-merged together - can someone explain the link?

      There’s got to be a story in there somewhere about this hike.

    • Shelley says:

      03:05pm | 01/02/11

      ssshhhhhh…Wayne will put a levy on us to set up a fuel watch website if we turn this into a popular topic!

    • bananabender says:

      03:52pm | 01/02/11

      Petrol stations make money from selling magazines, lollies and drinks not petrol. That is why they all have mini supermarkets.

    • Thommo says:

      11:45pm | 02/02/11

      Why doesn’t the government just fix the price for petrol, diesel and lpg. It can adjust it or set it directly indexed to the cost of a barrel of oil. Starting price - Unleaded = $1.20 , Diesel = $1.25 , LPG = 55 cents. Petrol station automatically makes 10%. nationalise fuel supply, privatization hasn’t worked with electricity.

 

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