QUEENSLANDERS are demanding the Federal Government freeze its fuel excise increases – and whichever party moves to do it could secure the keys to the Lodge.
The issue has overtaken power prices as the key to winning over angry voters feeling cost-of-living pain.
Motorists are forking out an extra $50 a year on petrol to cover the cost of fuel excise rises in the past four years.
An exclusive YouGov Galaxy poll of 839 voters, undertaken for The Courier-Mail, shows 62 per cent of Queenslanders rate freezing petrol excise a “very important” issue.
It is a particularly hot topic in regional Queensland, where most marginal seats are, with almost three-quarters of people wanting the freeze.
Returning the budget to surplus was the next biggest issue for Queenslanders, with 53 per cent of voters ranking it “very important”, while easing congestion was a big issue for 54 per cent of southeast Queensland residents.
Moving to a 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030 was important for 48 per cent of those surveyed.
While the strongest support for this came from Labor and Greens voters, more One Nation voters (34 per cent) said it was important compared to LNP voters (27 per cent).
Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard won popularity when he froze the excise in 2001.
But it was unfrozen in 2014 by the Abbott Government and now rises twice annually with inflation.
The average unleaded price in Queensland hit a record high of 159.3c per litre last month, according to the RACQ.
Of this 55.7c per litre, or nearly one-third, goes towards Federal taxes like GST and fuel excise.
The excise has risen 3.1c per litre to 41.2c a per litre since it was unfrozen.
This works at almost an extra $50 a year an average motorist travelling 14,000km a year is forking out.
In recent weeks Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition leader Bill Shorten have addressed petrol prices, but both stopped short of agreeing to a freeze on the excise indexation.
Mr Morrison said he, as Treasurer, had given consumer watchdog ACCC more powers to look at petrol company conduct and he was “expecting some action”.
Mr Shorten said excise, while significant, was “a small part of the total price” and suggested tougher penalties on petrol companies found to be gaming the market and stronger powers for the ACCC.
Twin Waters resident Stephanie Josic, 27, said a party willing to cut taxes on petrol could influence her vote.
“The (higher) prices lately have been noticeable. It’s ridiculous to see prices 20c lower in the Sunshine Coast than in Brisbane,” she said.
The YouGov Galaxy poll of 839 voters was undertaken on November 7-8.
Meanwhile, Mr Morrison admitted he had “a big mountain to climb” to win the next election, after Newspoll showed the Coalition had fallen behind Labor 45-55, despite YouGov Galaxy polling showing the LNP remained 50-50 in Queensland.
“I knew, when stepping up into this role, there would be a big mountain to climb and a very steep one,” he said.
Extracted from Herald Sun