The Prime Minister has no – repeat no –
control over petrol prices, but he told Brisbane radio on
Wednesday that he’d love to be able to do something about them:

Petrol prices is
the biggest problem Australians have with the economy at the moment. It worries
me more than anything else, it’s not something that any government in Australia
can control because everybody’s battling with the problem, everybody around the
world. I mean if anybody says there’s some magical solution to the high price
of petrol in Australia, will you please ring The Lodge and I’ll spend an hour, all ears
listening to them. I’d be absolutely delighted…

The very same day he said on radio in
“We love our cars, we Australians”.

Well, here’s a solution – and we won’t even
ask for an hour of the PM’s time. The answer is to conserve oil and find alternative

Conserve oils and find alternative fuels –
and give one of the economics editors a good backgrounding on what the price of
petrol in Australia would be like if the Aussie dollar had not risen from the low US50
cent mark to the mid 70s between 2002 and 2004.

Our back-of-the-notepad calculations
suggest that if the dollar had stayed low, we’d now be looking at something
like $2.10 a litre. Now that would really frighten the punters.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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