Labor Senator Helen Polley today called on Liberal Member for Bass Andrew Nikolic to explain why the Abbott Government wants Tasmanians to pay more when they fill up their cars.
Yesterday Mr Nikolic claimed Tasmanians were being treated like “second-class citizens” at the bowser, yet he failed to address the fact that the Abbott Government is poised to include an increased fuel excise of approximately three cents a litre in tomorrow’s federal budget.
Mr Nikolic needs to stop flip-flopping, he can’t have a bet each way complaining about petrol prices in Tasmania, but then throw his support behind Tony Abbott’s fuel tax in Canberra.
Local business owner Bob Salt from Testing & Tagging Tasmania travels over 30,000 kilometres per year to test electrical appliances.
“An increase to the fuel excise will have a huge impact on my running costs. I travel to the North West Coast, West Coast and Southern Tasmania on a regular basis. Any increase to fuel hurts my business, a permanent three cent increase will be terrible for my bottom-line,” Mr Salt said.
Senator Polley also noted that the Liberal Party’s inaction on this issue was all the more puzzling given that the state’s Liberal Party President Geoff Page owns a transport business in northern Tasmania, a company which would keep a particularly close eye on fuel prices.
“Surely individuals like Mr Page realise that action is needed, does Mr Nikolic understand that families and businesses are impacted by petrol prices? He needs to stand up for the people of Bass and come up with solutions, general gripes about the current state of affairs isn’t good enough.
“The excise will be a concern for families every time they fill their car up and it will be especially tough for those Tasmanians in remote and regional areas who don’t have many public transport options or those who live some distance from where they work.”