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Another unnecessary petrol price hike

Hon Roger Sowry National Party Energy Spokesman

23 March 2005

Another unnecessary petrol price hike

National’s Energy spokesman, Roger Sowry, says Labour should investigate all options for increasing oil reserves rather than hiking up the price of petrol again.

Cabinet papers released today have noted that the International Energy Agreement allows stocks of oil to be held in other member countries. Energy Minister Trevor Mallard has also acknowledged this.

Mr Sowry says New Zealand should fully explore this option, and particularly a joint storage agreement with Australia, before imposing what amounts to another tax on motorists.

“Storage in other member countries works well for European countries, and Australia’s proximity makes such an arrangement with it logical.”

The Cabinet paper also notes that an off-shore storage arrangement would offer risk management benefits in the event that more oil was discovered in New Zealand.

“But, unfortunately for New Zealanders, Labour’s only answer is to slap on a levy,”says Mr Sowry.

“It seems that at the moment motorists can expect a rise in petrol prices every couple of months.”

ENDS

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