Australia - Pump prices fuel dilemma : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

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Pump prices fuel PM's dilemma

WHEN the petrol supplier rang Rhonda Brennan last Friday to say the price had jumped again, a wave of nausea swept through her. It was the fifth such call this month.

She marched into the driveway of her Busy Bee service station and roadhouse in Mudgee, four hours west of Sydney, to record the bad news on her boards. Super 93.9c a litre, unleaded 90.9c a litre -- an increase of 1c. Brennan measures her livelihood in single digits. She makes just 3c for every litre of fuel she sells. In the petrol game, that means she is losing money. She'd be broke if the rest of her mixed business didn't pull its weight.

"It's just sickening," she said. "People don't fill their tanks any more. They just ask for $10 worth and wait till they get to Sydney to refill."

Brennan is a heroine in Mudgee. She was one of the working class warriors who helped slay a dragon named Woolworths when it came to town last year promising cheaper petrol. She organised petitions of like-minded citizens who feared the big retailer would wipe out the local servos.

Woolies was knocked back by the local council on planning and environmental grounds. The same thing happened in nearby Orange a few weeks ago.

However, Woolies may have more luck in Moree, a few hundred kilometres to the north. The council there will recommend the retailer be allowed to turn on the pumps when it meets on Thursday.

The federal Government's consumer sheriff, Allan Fels, says this reveals a contradiction in the bush.

"On the one hand, people want lower petrol prices and they know the key is to have more competition on petrol in their towns," the chairman of the Competition and Consumer Commission said. "On the other hand, they are concerned at possible loss of jobs if bigger, efficient operators take over the market.

"Local councils have tended to give greater heed to pressure from local service station operators rather than consumers."

This David and Goliath story is the least known act in an ongoing petrol drama that could sweep the Howard Government out of office.

The surge in world oil prices threatens Australia's low inflation record and adds to the risk of higher interest rates.

It also makes introducing the GST on July 1 even scarier for the Government.

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This article is a bit too long to post fully. However it ties up the various issues in Australia. I think Americans can appreciate the issues, but I shan't attempt to explain the rest of it 'cause buggerit if I understand it at all!!!

Too bloody hot to argue so CYA to all cool dudes in the USA...:o)

-- Pieter (, February 21, 2000


Pieter, It is so strange to see Australia leading the way first! Usually the rest of the world follows the USA... but, I got that funny feeling that this government chose not lead the way here... they would let the world go high and then say, "Everyone else is high, stop complaining!" In this corrupt and strange community I live in, every gas station keeps the same price so that no one can get cheaper gas... if one station has premium at $1.89...all of them do... which happens to be the price now! oh yeh, there is one station owned by the mormons here that always sells gas a couple of cents cheaper, but they are forced to close early and open late...interesting? America gave away our freedom to make the choice years ago when we let the democrates take over ... the democratic Party(Socialist Democratic Party) has become powerful in its own alliance with our mother country "China" who they have made America a colony again. "America, Made in China" how sad! It looks like the only way out is to do it on a very small level, individuals and small groups in nieborhoods designing and building their own resources for electric power and alternative gas. But FAT CHANCE of that! American's are just lazy... you tell your country men what happened to us and be aware of what can happen to you if you let the government rule you rather than the people rule what the government does. Regards from where the redwoods meet the beach, BRyan

-- S BRyan G III (, February 21, 2000.

Hello Pieter,

What's with all these posts about Australia? Are you a bored "public servant" just passing the time (makes a change from calculating your super, I guess. If so, STOP WASTING MY TAX DOLLARS, YOU BLUDGER.)

But if you are a real and worthwhile person (as distinct from a useless, parasitic "public servant"), what gives? Get real, mate. This is an American forum, and all they care about is what happens in the centre of the Universe. America.

Many of them have only a hazy idea of where Australia is, let alone care about the price of petrol in the bush (your solitary respondent excepted).

No, Pieter. There are more productive things you can do. Like count your nostril hairs.

Cheers from Bondi junction

-- Oz (Just@an Aussie from, February 21, 2000.

Not every american has their head buried in a People magazine all day. keep us posted Pieter.

-- stars (and@stripes.forever), February 21, 2000.

Let's see. Australia, that would be the southwest suburb of Waikiki... OH NO WAIT! Wrong Place!! It's New Zealand's Big Island!! THat's Right!!


-- Chuck, a night driver (, February 21, 2000.


I know where Australia is and have always wanted to visit but know I never shall (too old). Please keep posting. I am interested in what happens in other parts of the world. Thanks for all your information. I especially sympathize with you about the heat. I live in Texas and we have some extremely hot weather here at times. Stay cool!

-- Nadine (, February 21, 2000.

G'Day Bondi dweller,

No, I am not a public servant. I am self employed since I was 18 years old. Made a pile, lost a pile. Same old story. Amen.

I post on this American forum for they knoweth little about OZ, believing OZ dwellers to all reside at Bondi, the centre of intellectual critique and dole bludgers.

Americans, as world police dudes, have little sense of direction.

I also post because this last season of cricket broadcasts was hi- jacked by the Kentucky hen-house colonel. Somewhere in among the jiggity-jiggs of the cane tapping foot- stomping fire-pole sliding singing parady of an American apology we witnessed cricket. It's multi-national chicken in spices marketing gone ga-ga.

I post because I think this forum was worth lurking last year and now it's changing away from a clamity to something more constructive. A bit like having an extrended family swapping gossip.

Anyway, OZ politics is a lark, full of intrique. It even shows occasional moments of inspiration.

Regards from the Deepest South

-- Pieter (, February 21, 2000.

G'Day Chuck, stars, Nadine, S BRYAN et al,

The Bondi Junction point is valid, but less than incisive.

Actually, TB2000 forum is evolving and a social communication phenomenon made possible by Yankee techno stuff.

It may come as a surprise to Bondi freaks that my people in Europe access TB2000.

The recent spamming does little credit to the American international image, but the subject matter posted here does.

I use TB2000 for research.

I post a few articles to bring a balance to an American centric forum looking at Europe and Asia.

TB2000 and its moderators bring a range of issues alive. I am interested in some of these issues. Pays to be alert in my job...


-- Pieter (, February 21, 2000.


I'm glad you're not a P.S. so I won't shout anymore.

Yes, (most) Americans know virtually nothing about Australia, nor, for the post part do they want to know. Which is fair enough, I suppose; a lot of us are just as inward looking. And Bondi is the most over-rated, tacky, unattractive bit of real estate in the world (though down town Hawaii comes a close second).

It's unfortunate that Bondi is often the sum total of foreigners' knowledge of Australia, as there's more to us than that. (But not much, I hear the crowd respond).

Anyway, carry on posting if it makes you happy. I'll read your stuff, even if no-one else does. BTW, why don't you get out and make another pile? I've got to say, Oz is the easiest place to do well, 'cause for the most part, there's not a lot of competition. Too much focus on sport (and that's a misnomer..I mean, footy players are simply thugs, tennis players spoilt brats and cricketers bet against their own team. Sport? Don't make me laugh, it hurts my ribs...)

I came here with $300 in my pocket, no skills or education to speak of, and 'retired' after 10 years solid graft in my own business. Then I had an expensive divorce, and a disaterous foray into futures and I'm down to my last $1.25m so I'm about to go back into business and do it all over again. Easy!

Pieter, I've travelled the world, including the Americas, Canada, Asia, Europe - the works, and there's no-where better than Australia for over-all quality of life. This is despite what our snout-in-the- trough, half-wit pollies are doing to us. So, on second thoughts, stop telling Americans about us, or they'll come over with their funny accents, loud check shirts, and strange spelling, and spoil it all.

-- Oz (An@Aussiein, February 21, 2000.

Dear Bondi Junction,
Hehe, too late. The New Zealanders just bought our last big timber company, announced yesterday. The Yanks are here too with an alternative energy push and the Canadians are doing all canola crops. If you check out the Basslink electricity plans you'll find another stack of Yankee dollars and the China connection is all pervasive as well.

Right now I'm doing a quote for a my next foray into Queensland. Making money isn't difficult in our fantastic country. It's the hanging on to it that's my problem...:o)


-- Pieter (, February 21, 2000.

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