Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters today voiced concern that higher petrol prices in regional areas means that locals are paying more in petrol tax to the Abbott Liberal Government than their city-dwelling counterparts.
"Recent media coverage has exposed that in regional areas we are paying higher prices for fuel. So any increase to the fuel tax means that our regional communities such as Bendigo, Kyneton, Castlemaine and Heathcote are paying even more tax.
On 1 November 2014, Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government bypassed the Parliament to impose an increase in the petrol tax.
"The Prime Minister ambushed Central Victorian motorists, he ambushed the Parliament of Australia, and through the backdoor he has launched a sneaky attack on household budgets,” said Ms Chesters.
"This move will hit central Victorian families and small businesses particularly hard as we quite often have further to travel, with limited public transport options,” Ms Chesters said.
"Tony Abbott and the Liberal Government are sneaking in a new petrol tax. They know the community is against it, and they don’t have the decency to argue their case through the proper channels.
"It just smacks of arrogance to increase a tax without the Parliament having the opportunity to debate and vote on the matter.”
To add further insult, the Liberal government has said that if the tax rise is not validated by Parliament within 12 months, the extra revenue will be returned to fuel companies - not motorists.
"I share the concerns of the Mayor Peter Cox and will write to the ACCC about the matter. I will also write to the Treasurer and Prime Minister.