Cutting fuel prices should be a priority for O’Connor’s next MP, according to three candidates for next year’s federal election.

Nationals candidate John Hassell, Greens candidate Nelson Gilmour and sitting O’Connor Liberal MP Rick Wilson all agreed Great Southern families and businesses were feeling the pressure of higher fuel prices.

Last week a report revealed Great Southern petrol and diesel was up to 30c per litre more expensive than two years ago.

ULP in the Great Southern has been 12c and 16c higher on average than in Perth over the past two months, up from an average of about 4.3c more expensive since December 2016.

Mr Hassell took aim at oil companies for charging higher prices in regional areas compared to cities.

“It only costs a few cents a litre to freight the fuel (regionally), yet prices are 10c to 20c higher sometimes – that’s just not on,” he said.

“I’d support trying to make country areas get a fairer deal than what they’re getting at the moment, which is way and above the cost of trucking the fuel.”

Greens candidate Nelson Gilmour said a parliamentary investigation into price gouging was “a good place to start”.

“Big corporates are charging what they can get away with rather than what is fair,” he said.

“A price and profit cap at wholesale and retail level is something that could be considered, but I think it’s more important to look at why our broader transport system is so reliant on fossil fuels.”

When asked, O’Connor MP Rick took aim at Labor’s proposed 45 per cent emissions reduction target.

In November opposition leader Bill Shorten proposed cutting Australia’s emissions targets to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“That will cause fuel prices to rise even further,” Mr Wilson said.

“People are feeling the pressure of the cost of living and the large increases in energy and fuel bills, so I will do anything within my power to help reduce them.”

Extracted from The West

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