Government agency maintaining the high cost of living

The ACCC is doing its bit to maintain high petrol prices at the checkout:

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched Federal Court action against Coles and Woolworths for allegedly breaching undertakings to cap petrol discounts at 4¢ a litre.

“The ACCC takes alleged breaches of undertakings extremely seriously. Such undertakings are generally accepted by the ACCC as an alternative to the ACCC taking court enforcement action,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement on Tuesday.

Coles has started an advertising campaign for a 14¢ discount fuel offer that enables consumers to save 10¢ a litre on fuel, on top of the capped 4¢ a litre shopper docket discount, if they simultaneously spend $20 or more on groceries at a Shell Coles Express.

So here is a series of questions for Joe Hockey:

  • Do you remember $14 per kilo bananas?
  • Do you remember being slaughtered by the ALP in 2007 over cost of living pressures?
  • Did you enjoy being in opposition between 2007 – 2013?
  • Is there any good reason why you haven’t picked up the phone and told the ACCC to pull its head in?
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128 Responses to Government agency maintaining the high cost of living

  1. Joe

    I would agree with your premise, if there were grocery stores that did not inflate their grocery prices to pay for the “discount” at the fuel pump. Please point them out to me?

    Cross pricing into different markets only distort the markets involved and do not provide unpolluted price signals to the consumer.

  2. Sinclair Davidson

    if there were grocery stores that did not inflate their grocery prices to pay for the “discount” at the fuel pump.

    ALDI doesn’t offer petrol vouchers at all. Neither does IGA IIRC. Then there are online providers like Aussie Farmers Direct etc. etc. etc.

  3. .

    …and why do customers need “unpolluted price signals”?

    This is what Hayek said of prices:

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/hykKnw1.html

    Price signals have lots and lots of information in them.

    Can you prove resources get misallocated from such schemes? No?

  4. eb

    Hang on, you says that the big two inflate their grocery prices? Sure the groceries available in the servo are more expensive, but that’s the same in all servos, not just the Woolies and Coles ones.

    I thought the big two were giving petrol discounts to attract market share and thereby make up for their discounted petrol through bigger volume.

  5. Rococo Liberal

    Maybe Joe Hockey hasn’t rung the ACCC because it would be improper for him to interefere in that agency’s operations. It is the same with the ATO. WOuld expect Mr Hockey to ring the Commissioner of Taxation and order him to cease a case in the Federal Court? Of course not.

  6. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Meanwhile the ACCC ignores the CFMEU’s violation of bans on secondary boycotts.

    Sack the leadership and start over again.

  7. dave up north

    The banana price was caused by a cyclone.

  8. .

    Rococo Liberal
    #1203182, posted on February 25, 2014 at 3:34 pm
    Maybe Joe Hockey hasn’t rung the ACCC because it would be improper for him to interefere in that agency’s operations. It is the same with the ATO. WOuld expect Mr Hockey to ring the Commissioner of Taxation and order him to cease a case in the Federal Court? Of course not.

    Does he have the power to do so?

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    Actually the banana price increase was caused by refusing to allow imports.

  10. Fibro

    It is my belief that abandoning any such scheme will produce lower prices for all consumers.

    Let petrol stations be petrol stations and be competitive based on the input costs and their margin to operate, not by fictitious margins based on subsidies through another company. Those subsidies might make petrol cheaper to a select few who coudl be bothered, but increase the cost of the supermarket goods to all.

  11. Sinclair Davidson

    Maybe Joe Hockey hasn’t rung the ACCC because it would be improper for him to interfere in that agency’s operations.

    RL – to be fair, I have heard that argument before. But so what? It’s not clear to me why it is improper.
    I’ve heard arguments that this is a good idea for, say, the RBA and there is a compelling literature on that point (although results might be driven by endogeneity issues) but every single government agency needs to be out of control independent?

  12. .

    Fibro
    #1203193, posted on February 25, 2014 at 3:39 pm
    It is my belief that abandoning any such scheme will produce lower prices for all consumers.

    Let petrol stations be petrol stations and be competitive based on the input costs and their margin to operate, not by fictitious margins based on subsidies through another company. Those subsidies might make petrol cheaper to a select few who coudl be bothered, but increase the cost of the supermarket goods to all.

    Or – like the rest of the goods they sell – expanding the product range and volume of sales creates economies of scale and makes prices lower than any other scenario.

    I say we should let shops sell stuff and find whatever profit margin they market will bear.

  13. .

    I agree with Sinc. The idea the Treasurer shouldn’t be responsible for revenue seems a little bizarre.

  14. Actually the banana price increase was caused by refusing to allow imports

    Good thing too.
    Quarantine exists for a reason.

    But the price rise was due to a shortage caused by cyclone. Simple supply and demand.

  15. youngster

    We (the poor old consumer) end up paying the same amount. The question is do I pay more for groceries and less for fuel, or less for fuel and more for groceries.

  16. Gab

    Those subsidies might make petrol cheaper to a select few who coudl be bothered, but increase the cost of the supermarket goods to all.

    It’s a pity those people banging on about how prices are increased for all so a few can get discounted petrol cannot see the same for subsidised solar and wind energy adding to increased electricity prices.

    Apart from that, I wonder just how much supermarket prices are increased to cover the petrol discounts? Given all the products they sell probably 1 cent per item.

  17. Driftforge

    Actually the banana price increase was caused by refusing to allow imports

    Which was probably a better option than the government pump priming the industry. Then again, that was probably done as well.

  18. dave up north

    Are you sure that not importing bananas was the reason. Up here in fnq when the price went up was because they had none. We just had a cyclone through here and wiped out most of the crop. Seeing two thirds of bananas come from this area you discount this fact? I am just a lowly worker up here so what would I know.

  19. Which was probably a better option than the government pump priming the industry. Then again, that was probably done as well.

    How would (or how did) the govt pump-prime regrowing of bananas?
    I know how I’d have done it, alas these days we have too much clout in the Liberal Party (who were never any good without a strong country party to keep them in line).

  20. Are you sure that not importing bananas was the reason. Up here in fnq when the price went up was because they had none. We just had a cyclone through here and wiped out most of the crop.

    The answer Dave, is simple: How often does the price of bananas skyrocket? All the time, or only when a cyclone has just wiped out most of Australia’s bananas?

  21. Fibro

    Gab, I could not agree more with the power analogy, and I would be delighted if the ACCC could apply the same logic in petrol discounts to power.

  22. squawkbox

    I can only echo the Rabz chorus (with full brass band accompaniment)

  23. squawkbox

    Sorry, got cut off.

    SHUT IT DOWN
    FIRE THEM ALL

  24. Infidel Tiger

    Quarantine exists for a reason.

    Yes, it’s a fantastic tariff barrier against competitors producing a superior product at lower prices.

  25. Gab

    I would be delighted if the ACCC could apply the same logic in petrol discounts to power.

    Except that supermarket food price have not increased to anywhere near the levels of percentage increases in our cost of electricity over the last five years. And yet when discounts are offered to anyone, people get their panties in a twist and want some government department to squash discounts . Morons.

  26. Gab

    Quarantine exists for a reason.

    Yes to keep cheaper and better tasting bananas out of the country!

  27. Yes, it’s a fantastic tariff barrier against competitors producing a superior product at lower prices.

    I was thinking more of the banana blight that has since infected pretty much the rest of the world, but not Australia.
    You have a lot in common with the ALP if you stand for dismantling of quarantine.
    Quarantine exists for a reason. It is not just to give jobs to quarantine staff and enrich whining squatters.
    Quarantine does more than keep out leaf rust that’ll turn the poplars a nicer shade of bronze come autumn in Canberra you know.

  28. Token

    Actually the banana price increase was caused by refusing to allow imports.

    A lot of people around Coffs Harbour were made very rich by the import restrictions on ONE popular fruit.

  29. Token

    You have a lot in common with the ALP if you stand for dismantling of quarantine.

    ???? Quarantine on bananas is not the same as it is on cattle and dogs ????

  30. Riverina Matt

    The answer Dave, is simple: How often does the price of bananas skyrocket? All the time, or only when a cyclone has just wiped out most of Australia’s bananas?

    Of course if Australians could have purchased bananas from overseas, the effect of the cyclone on price would have been significantly less. Quarantine is important but some honesty is required – the ban on bananas is as much to protect from competition domestic producers as it is for biosecurity.

    Sinc is right – the ban on imported bananas is yet another way the Australian government puts the interests of producers ahead of consumers

  31. Infidel Tiger

    I was thinking more of the banana blight that has since infected pretty much the rest of the world, but not Australia.

    That banana blight must be terrible if the countries that have it can still produce enough bananas that they can export them around the world. Sounds almost as bad as New Zealand’s apple blight which allows them to produce better quality, higher yielding crops than blight free Australia.

  32. No instinct for quarantine. Do you fancy coming down with incurable Tuberculosis or something?
    Like it can’t be that bad, other countries have it, & it doesn’t kill everybody.

  33. That banana blight must be terrible if …

    That banana blight had most of the rest of the world soiling its pants. Of course one may not know this if the extent of one’s knowledge of quarantine goes no futher than bitchin’ about how it occassionally keeps up the price of one or another piece of fruit.

  34. Gab

    People get tuberculosis from bananas?

  35. People get tuberculosis from bananas?

    Bananas have many applications Gab (for further on this topic consult the David Marr conversation on another thread)

  36. Gab

    I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then.

  37. Gab

    A lot of people around Coffs Harbour were made very rich by the import restrictions on ONE popular fruit.

    Not from me they didn’t. I waited until the price lowered before I bought bananas and i lived to tell the tale!

  38. I’ll take that as a ‘no’ then.

    No you won’t. Instead I’ll take it as you’ve little idea what is the purpose of Quarantine.

    Losing some of these instincts is one of the sadder downsides to the urbanisation of Australia. To quote an American (Thomas Jefferson) God help any country when the townies outvote the bushies.

    So true.

  39. Walter Plinge

    Looks as if the mandarins at the ACCC have run out of productive work and have had to resurrect on their old hobby horses. In the real world of the consumer who gives a toss about supermarket petrol discounts? If you have a philosophical objection to them just shop at IGA or Aldi. On the other hand plenty of people like them irrespective of the alleged effect on shelf prices.

  40. Gab

    As I have worked in Quarantine and with AQIS, I’d say you’re shooting your mouth off again, SATP and your hypothesis that humans are infected with “incurable” tuberculosis from them foreighner bananas is tinfoil territory.

  41. squawkbox

    So, Steve, we must be prevented from buying cheaper fruit from overseas, because if we did, all our Australian fruit would catch fruit cooties and die, and if that happened we’d have to ….. buy cheaper fruit from overseas?

    Perfectly logical.

  42. In the real world of the consumer who gives a toss about supermarket petrol discounts? …… plenty of people like them irrespective of the alleged effect on shelf prices.

    Some people like them despite the quality of the fuel.
    You’ll usually only get two-thirds of the range from Supermarket fuel, and if you’ve a diesel, learn to strip and clean clogged muck from your own injectors, coz you’ll be doing it every fortnight.

  43. Token

    People get tuberculosis from bananas?

    This is the logic which leads a country to refuse to cull bats which actually have been proven to kill if they bite other mammals.

  44. As I have worked in Quarantine and with AQIS, I’d say you’re shooting your mouth off again, SATP and your hypothesis that humans are infected with “incurable” tuberculosis from them foreighner bananas is tinfoil territory.

    Gab: Nobody works in AQIS.
    I hypothesized nothing. If you’re against quarantine, that’s your privelige. You are however, quite wrong.

  45. Token

    Looks as if the mandarins at the ACCC have run out of productive work and have had to resurrect on their old hobby horses.

    We would be better served with mandarins from the Goulburn Valley running the QANGO.

  46. Gab

    Maybe we should feed those bats foreighner bananas then?

  47. Infidel Tiger

    I choose extra Frequent Flyer points in lieu of petrol discounts.

    Much better value.

  48. This is the logic which leads a country to refuse to cull bats which actually have been proven to kill if they bite other mammals.

    Tell me about it. Were it up to me every kid in town would be issued with a .22 and pretty soon there’d be no “relocation” of bats required.

  49. Gab

    No, SATP, you are quite wrong and talking through your asparagus.

  50. .

    You’ll usually only get two-thirds of the range from Supermarket fuel, and if you’ve a diesel, learn to strip and clean clogged muck from your own injectors, coz you’ll be doing it every fortnight.

    2/3 – This seems like bullshit. I would be careful not to say such things.

  51. Rabz

    Do you remember $14 per kilo bananas?

    I’m sure Goose Swansteen does.

  52. Gab

    and if you’ve a diesel

    which I have and for which I get a discount when I present the docket.

  53. This seems like bullshit. I would be careful not to say such things.

    I speak from experience, so plug your clacker.
    I’ll state the same in any court in the land, with my right hand on a whole stack of bibles.

  54. Do you remember $14 per kilo bananas?

    This wasn’t the case everywhere in Oz. In banana growing areas that are quarantined from the rest of the nation, the price remained at $3 per kg, and excess bananas were used for compost, as was always the case.
    Must have been painful to do without bananas for a few months.

  55. dave up north

    Gab,do you buy the shiteating prawns they do import.
    I know it might be protectionism with the banana industry but we have to do something with our time in rural areas or you fat cats will be paying for all of us.

  56. squawkbox

    You’ll usually only get two-thirds of the range from Supermarket fuel, and if you’ve a diesel, learn to strip and clean clogged muck from your own injectors, coz you’ll be doing it every fortnight.

    You have well and truly entered tinfoil hat territory, Steve. Coles and Woolies do not have their own refineries, they buy the stuff from the same refineries that sell it to BP, Shell, Caltex etc. If the octane rating is the same, the fuel is the same. Unless you allege that the Coles/Woolies petrol station managers are adulterating the fuel at the station.

  57. Infidel Tiger

    Some people like them despite the quality of the fuel.
    You’ll usually only get two-thirds of the range from Supermarket fuel, and if you’ve a diesel, learn to strip and clean clogged muck from your own injectors, coz you’ll be doing it every fortnight.

    I’ve heard this rubbish before. How is it possible unless Coles or Woolies own the refineries?

  58. .

    Got any anecdotes about 2/3 of the range etc? If you reckon it’s solid I’m all ears all things mechanical.

  59. Yobbo

    Quarantine exists for a reason. It is not just to give jobs to quarantine staff and enrich whining squatters.

    Actually that is a very accurate description of the main mission of quarantine.

    The main reason we have fruit and veg quarantine is to protect local growers, end of story.

  60. Yobbo

    I speak from experience, so plug your clacker.
    I’ll state the same in any court in the land, with my right hand on a whole stack of bibles.

    Oh, I believe you believe it.

  61. You have well and truly entered tinfoil hat territory, Steve. Coles and Woolies do not have their own refineries, they buy the stuff from the same refineries that sell it to BP, Shell, Caltex etc. If the octane rating is the same, the fuel is the same. Unless you allege that the Coles/Woolies petrol station managers are adulterating the fuel at the station.

    You got that from a book, not from filling your Toyota with Woolies plus, and driving an 800km run. Only to discover on the second run that you no longer have the power to pull up a long slight incline at 120kmh, nor do you get all the way home again with the same amount in your tank.

    Too much armchair theorising. Not enough experience. You can read all the brochures you like, link to all the websites you like.
    None of that unclogs injectors, or increases range. It is called “real life”.

  62. Oh, I believe you believe it.

    You’re a class act Yobbo.

  63. Robbo

    Governments or their agencies sticking their noses into the running of businesses is 1984 writ large. So what if a business cross subsidises? How does that make it right for the ACCC to burrow about and demand they stop? Retail businesses throughout the decades since WW2 have attracted customers with loss leader items and petrol discounting is just another example of that principle at work. I’m sick and bloody tired of being ordered, lectured and punished by intrusive governments about things that are none of their business. We are supposed to be living in a democracy and not some country where government tells us what to do from cradle to grave.

  64. .

    You got that from a book, not from filling your Toyota with Woolies plus, and driving an 800km run. Only to discover on the second run that you no longer have the power to pull up a long slight incline at 120kmh, nor do you get all the way home again with the same amount in your tank.

    There’s your problem.

  65. Gab

    We are supposed to be living in a democracy and not some country where government tells us what to do from cradle to grave.

    I would have thought you’d be disabused of that notion by now, and especially after the last six years of hard Labor.

  66. … filling your Toyota..

    There’s your problem.

    Only if the Toyota is post-2006 model (using ozzi vernacular here, they’re known in the wider community as a “Landcruiser”)
    Still beats a Landrover though.

  67. .

    We are supposed to be living in a democracy

    There’s your problem.

    http://mises.org/store/Democracy-The-God-That-Failed-P240C0.aspx

    A classical republic would be better.

  68. squawkbox

    Well Steve, I have a suggestion for you.

    Take a credible witness with you and purchase one litre of fuel from Coles, and one litre from BP or Shell. Send both samples away for chemical analysis, then publish the results. If there is any significant difference between the two, you will have a major media scoop, fame and money. Given your perpetual whinging on this site about the state of the hospitality industry, you could probably use the money.

    Strangely enough, I have 40+ years experience of real life, have filled my car with fuel from every available vendor and have never noticed any difference in quality, nor has anyone else except you. And you might explain how and where the fuel is being adulterated. At the refinery? At the filling station?

  69. .

    There is a slight difference between 95 premium fuel and regular 91 petrol. I had a logbook in my second car from which I worked this out – basically the extra 4cpl wasn’t worth it because the efficiency of better fuel was only worth 1cpl…and no I wasn’t a clever dick and didn’t figure out savings on maintenance etc.

    Never tried this with the 98 premium, or compared different firms.

  70. Robbo

    Gab
    #1203364, posted on February 25, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    We are supposed to be living in a democracy and not some country where government tells us what to do from cradle to grave.

    I would have thought you’d be disabused of that notion by now, and especially after the last six years of hard Labor.”

    I understand your cynicism but it was a democracy that voted to get rid of those gonzos and now we have to hope that the new lot act to do something about those controllers at the ACCC. If they don’t then it will all have been a waste of time putting them in.

  71. H B Bear

    Sounds like someone is in the market for some Firepower fuel tablets.

  72. .

    “Bolt on power”

    http://www.hiclone.com.au/what_is_hiclone.asp

    I assume they are legit because they haven’t been smashed in the courts like Firepower.

  73. Shelley

    What Gab said re Power. I am sick of these do gooders gloating ‘getting solar panels installed today, no more power bills’. They have no idea who is actually paying for it.

  74. Shelley

    Bit like another do gooder I know – donates $5000 to Red Cross – gets invited to all sorts of events, gloats about how charitable they are etc – then claims it all back on tax. This same person wouldn’t be bothered helping an old lady across the road where needed however.

  75. Send both samples away for chemical analysis, then publish the results.

    Not interested.

    …have filled my car with fuel from every available vendor and have never noticed any difference in quality, nor has anyone else except you.

    That is a big statement. One you cannot possibly back up.

    And you might explain how and where the fuel is being adulterated. At the refinery? At the filling station?

    Not my job.

    Crikey, where did all you sheep come from? You probably can’t even tell Bass Strait fuel from the regular stuff, when you’ve got it in your tank either.

  76. Monkey's Uncle

    To follow the logic further, supermarkets often make a loss on some items while making a profit on others. Are these cross subsidies a distortion of the market? Should they be forced to raise prices on all items that are not profitable? Should all bulk discounts etc. be compulsorily abolished also?

    And really, how much difference does it make that the Woolies petrol and Woolies supermarket are at different venues, when they are still owned by the same company? Is it okay to cross subsidise within a business so long as it is within the one roof, but not if some items are at different locations?

  77. Yobbo

    Crikey, where did all you sheep come from? You probably can’t even tell Bass Strait fuel from the regular stuff, when you’ve got it in your tank either.

    What an utter bore and self-important moron you are Steve.

  78. squawkbox

    Not interested.

    Not my job.

    I’ll take that as an admission you cannot back up your statements and don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

    Crikey, where did all you sheep come from? You probably can’t even tell Bass Strait fuel from the regular stuff, when you’ve got it in your tank either.

    As I and Infidel Tiger have been trying to tell you, the fuel from Coles and the fuel from the regular servo down the road comes from the same refinery and the same pump.

  79. To follow the logic further, supermarkets often make a loss on some items while making a profit on others. Are these cross subsidies a distortion of the market? Should they be forced to raise prices on all items that are not profitable? Should all bulk discounts etc. be compulsorily abolished also?

    Hell of a can of worms that one.
    But it’s been tried. It is French law. Don’t know how it is working in practice, or how complex it is to police.

  80. Infidel Tiger

    Steve at the Pub, if it’s any consolation JC tried to tell me the same thing a few years ago.

  81. What an utter bore and self-important moron you are Steve.

    I don’t know who pushed sand into your private parts Yobbo. But you’re a class act alright.

  82. Tator

    One of the reasons that I have heard about the ACCC clamping down on shopper dockets is that a lot of the time, predatory pricing is used to close down opposition independents who can’t buy the fuel from the refinery wholesale at what the Coles and Woollies outlets are selling for retail. The only way our only other chain of servos here in SA can make a dollar is by using multiple franchise businesses as co tenants to their petrol retailing. Peregrine Corp runs the On The Run chain and often has McDonalds, Subway, Wok in a Box, Brumbies, Smokemart and Hungry Jacks franchises in their servos, so building a business where the petrol income is subsidised by the revenue from other co tenants. But the rest of the independents like Liberty, Mogas and United are struggling and the only way they can compete is by selling the E10 fuel at the same price as Coles and Woolies discounted price for unleaded or sometimes a cent cheaper. the E10 is a higher octane rating (94) than 91 octane unleaded but tends to get a slightly worse mileage. Haven’t done any comparisons but I tend to support the smaller locally owned independents or On the Run than the big chains, most of the staff are friendlier and provide better service away from the petrol.

  83. Yobbo

    Let us know when you get the chemical analysis back Steve, until then STFU.

  84. Let us know when you get the chemical analysis back Steve, until then STFU.

    I don’t know what your problem is Yobbo, nor do I care. Perhaps religion will help you.

  85. .

    You probably can’t even tell Bass Strait fuel from the regular stuff, when you’ve got it in your tank either.

    Australian fuel smells because of the high sulphur content.

    Monkey’s Uncle
    #1203441, posted on February 25, 2014 at 5:57 pm
    To follow the logic further, supermarkets often make a loss on some items while making a profit on others. Are these cross subsidies a distortion of the market? Should they be forced to raise prices on all items that are not profitable? Should all bulk discounts etc. be compulsorily abolished also?

    My god. They have some really stupid, anti prosperity laws there in France.

  86. Glass half empty

    Quarantine is bullshit? What about foot and mouth disease? If it’s found in your beasts, your farm will be quarantined and all infected animals killed and disposed of. In Queensland, in recent years, some idiot immigrant farmer bought in orange tree root stock that was diseased. All his orange trees were uprooted and burned, as were his neighbours , in order to stop the spread of the disease. Neighbours were unhappy but legal suit failed. Queensland used to maintain caged poultry in far north Queensland jungle. This poultry was monitored regularly to see if diseases were moving across Torres Strait. No doubt there are market elements of some import control but there are fruit, vegetable and animal diseases we do not want in Australia. Bit like the vaccination debate, freedom from disease breeds conceit. Quarantine is not bullshit.

  87. stackja

    Liberty Quotes
    No politician is any longer interested in the question whether a measure is fit to produce the ends aimed at. What alone counts for him is whether the majority of the voters favor or reject it.
    — Ludwig von Mises

  88. .

    Glassie – you can do quarantine internally without stopping international trade. The MIA/CIA and wine regions do this well.

  89. Biota

    Steve at Pub
    I can believe the impact of different fuel quality. I have done the same 400 k run in my old Range Rover using more than a full tank and on 3/4 of a tank. Both times using 95.

  90. Dot, Australia is an island, surrounded by water, blah blah blah. The place to keep horrid diseases & other nasty stuff out is at the moat, rather than withdraw to an internal fenceline.

  91. Infidel Tiger

    Steve at Pub
    I can believe the impact of different fuel quality. I have done the same 400 k run in my old Range Rover using more than a full tank and on 3/4 of a tank. Both times using 95.

    Were the trips done with same fuel load? Same weight in car? Same weather conditions? Same mileage on the car (not possible)? Same time from last service?

    There are so many variables. I’m afraid some blokes anecdote isn’t really going to be proof that Coles and Woolworths have committed one of the greatest corporate frauds in Australian history and thus exposed themselves to a potentially multi-billion dollar class action.

  92. Yobbo

    Steve you realise they still ban imports even if no diseases are found right?

  93. Infidel Tiger

    I have done the same 400 k run in my old Range Rover using more than a full tank and on 3/4 of a tank. Both times using 95.

    BTW, congratulations on being perhaps the first person in history to successfully travel 400km in a Range Rover twice without breaking down.

  94. Infidel Tiger

    Steve you realise they still ban imports even if no diseases are found right?

    We can’t take the risk that one of our pristine agricultural areas will be exposed to a cheaper, higher quality product. It’s effect would be catastrophic.

  95. .

    Steve at the Pub
    #1203532, posted on February 25, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    Dot, Australia is an island, surrounded by water, blah blah blah. The place to keep horrid diseases & other nasty stuff out is at the moat, rather than withdraw to an internal fenceline.

    Err no, we already have internal quarantine and have done so for the better half of a century.

    We can’t take the risk that one of our pristine agricultural areas will be exposed to a cheaper, higher quality product. It’s effect would be catastrophic.

    To that taxeating Bub Cooter.

  96. What about foot and mouth disease?

    The only way to handle an outbreak is to (regardless of the time of day) parachute troops in to form a cordon sanitaire a few km radius out from ground zero. All livestock inside to be shot asap, all disinfection procedurse followed, as per UK outbreaks decades ago.
    For contrast, see the inept manner in which the Blair govt mishandled an outbreak. They’ve no idea of the seriousness. Cretins.

    In Queensland, in recent years, some idiot immigrant farmer bought in orange tree root stock that was diseased.

    It was buried inside cannisters of tea leaves.

    All his orange trees were uprooted and burned, as were his neighbours , in order to stop the spread of the disease.

    Not immedately. The Qld DPI & AQIS both thought the other was watching the outbreak to see what happened. Only when it was clear from the rapid spread that nobody was watching, did it occur to the govt that perhaps elimination of the problem was called for. They’d actually been working on the basis of “ongoing management” of the outbreak, ie. each time an infected plant was indentified, it would be destroyed & the area for a few metres around it “watched for a few years”.
    Peter Beattie should have been jailed for the manner in which this was mishandled.
    The (eventual) destruction of all orchards was actually the initial suggestion of the neighbors. Just took the ALP govt at the time ages to have their arse kicked into doing what needed doing.
    Yep, the growers were hung out to dry over the intentional criminal actions of a foreign citizen.
    Some went bankrupt, lost their life’s work.

  97. Biota

    BTW, congratulations on being perhaps the first person in history to successfully travel 400km in a Range Rover twice without breaking down.

    Lol :) My Rangie is super reliable. Can’t remember the last time it happened.

  98. .

    Yep, the growers were hung out to dry over the intentional criminal actions of a foreign citizen.
    Some went bankrupt, lost their life’s work.

    Did they have insurance?

  99. Did they have insurance?

    Your answer Dot:

    …went bankrupt, lost their life’s work.

  100. Err no, we already have internal quarantine and have done so for the better half of a century.

    As can be attested by anyone who’s so much as tried to carry firewood accross the West Oz border. There are plenty of Sugar zones, fruit fly lines, tick lines, even dog fences. There are also quarantine zones in FNQ that prohibit the transport south of any food whatsoever.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that this means we shouldn’t pay any attention to international quarantine?

  101. Infidel Tiger

    Not immedately. The Qld DPI & AQIS both thought the other was watching the outbreak to see what happened. Only when it was clear from the rapid spread that nobody was watching, did it occur to the govt that perhaps elimination of the problem was called for.

    But but but… I thought you said quarantine was working?

    Sounds like any other stuttering clusterfuck run by government.

  102. .

    If you’re a farmer and the ALP or Greens come to power…it may be prudent to get insurance. A lot of it.

  103. But but but… I thought you said quarantine was working?

    Please cut & paste where I said that. The event referred to by Glass Haff Empty was an ALP clusterfark.
    Quarantine, were it run properly, would have jumped on the outbreak & eliminated it rightaway. Doing it a few years later was waaaay more expensive, waaaay more difficult, and cost several hard working self-reliant people their life’s work.
    The problem there: The ALP have no instinct for quarantine.

    Or, if one is an open borders advocate, the problem was that something was done to stop Australia’s citrus industry to be wiped out.

  104. .

    Looks like internal quarantine works and external quarantine does not.

    Maybe it should be left up to insurers and port authorities.

  105. .

    The border isn’t the issue. It was a management fuck up.

    This is what happens when you elect politicians who never have real jobs.

  106. .

    “never have had a real job”…

  107. Looks like internal quarantine works and external quarantine does not.

    You’ll have your chance to experience it, the ALP govt of Qld (now voted out) ceased a programme to control the soutward spread of incurable TB.
    For those who have trouble with with word “incurable”, it means a strain of TB that is automatically terminal if you contract it.

  108. will

    Steve at Pub
    I can believe the impact of different fuel quality. I have done the same 400 k run in my old Range Rover using more than a full tank and on 3/4 of a tank. Both times using 95.

    so you really think that petrol coming out of the same refinery or ship becomes different when it is sold from different outlets under different brands??!!

    some weird drugs there, biota

    BTW use 98 octane, both you rangie and the planet will thank you

  109. .

    I know what incurable means. “Automatically terminal” sounds like cyanide.

  110. will

    E10 is a higher octane rating (94) than 91 octane unleaded

    anyone using E10 cares for neither their car or the planet

  111. Queensland used to maintain caged poultry in far north Queensland jungle. This poultry was monitored regularly to see if diseases were moving across Torres Strait.

    This is mostly done by the Commonwealth nowdays. There are caged everything in the very north. Even a herd of sentinel cattle. The whole lot, every last boot on the ground, is done by indigenous. AQIS (or whatever the current name of it is) is the only govt dept in which every officer in the very north is indigenous.

    No doubt there are market elements of some import control but there are fruit, vegetable and animal diseases we do not want in Australia. Bit like the vaccination debate, freedom from disease breeds conceit. Quarantine is not bullshit.

    Not a sentiment that every urban dweller shares, alas. And certainly not one shared by the majority of ALP elected politicians. Not if actions are the measure.

  112. will

    Never tried this with the 98 premium, or compared different firms.

    The running cost will always be greater with the lower octane fuel, however if you use 98 your engine will be cleaner, resulting in longer life and possibly lower servicing and/or repair costs. I appear to get more power, as well.

  113. .

    I haven’t documented that very well but anecdotally I reckon servicing costs fell with a switch to nearly always 98 octane rated fuel.

    yes there is an argument the engine is designed for 91-95 ron but you don’t always get ideal conditions, particularly in summer.

  114. Eyrie

    Clearly no mechanical engineers here. Octane rating is required for anti knock properties which depends on compression ratio. Higher compression ratio engines are more efficient but require higher octane fuel. There is no point in using higher octane fuel than required for anti knock properties. The engine won’t develop more power or be more efficient on higher octane fuel unless there is an electronic timing system that retards the ignition timing if lower octane fuel is used. I’ve actually seen engines with fixed timing develop less power when run on higher octane fuel as the higher the octane the slower the charge burns which has the effect of slightly retarding the ignition timing from the optimum on the lower octane fuel.

  115. .

    I have the empirical data for fuel efficiency though!

    I believe servicing costs are lower – with a modern EFI engine.

    Do you always get optimal conditions, or will you get pinging on a hot day with E91 for example?

  116. entropy

    I used to labour on a NSW banana farm in my yooth. The development of the Tully/Innisfail banana industry in line with improved transport logistics and refrigeration technology put most of the NSW industry out of business. Quicker growing, better quality fruit. Nobody got too worked up over that.

    The black Sigatoka that supposedly has devastated overseas banana producers somehow wouldn’t stop them being able to produce better quality fruit than Tully, shipped across two ports and thousands of kms at a price two thirds of Australian Bananas. The quarantine is a non tariff barrier.

  117. kae

    Sinclair
    In my town, and the next, if you take your docket from the petrol station to IGA they will give you a discount per litre off the grocery bill if that grocery bill is over $30 (I think it is). Both Coles and Woollies have no local* service station where you can claim your cheap petrol (anyway, you can buy it cheaper most days without a voucher!)

    Even Mitre 10 gives a discount with a petrol docket!!

    *Not within 30ks one way and 60ks the other way!

  118. kae

    4 cents per litre isn’t worth my loyalty anyway.

  119. Yobbo

    It’s a nice bonus though, assuming you have to do your shopping anyway.

  120. JohnA

    . #1203378, posted on February 25, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    There is a slight difference between 95 premium fuel and regular 91 petrol. I had a logbook in my second car from which I worked this out – basically the extra 4cpl wasn’t worth it because the efficiency of better fuel was only worth 1cpl…and no I wasn’t a clever dick and didn’t figure out savings on maintenance etc.

    Never tried this with the 98 premium, or compared different firms.

    SAP (which you are), there are different fuel blends for different parts of the country (mainly Qld/WA/NT for climate reasons) and for different seasons – summer vs winter. But the differences are usually not noticeable except during the short changeover periods in late spring and autumn.

    As a self-employed customer-focused sales person (as well as general dogsbody) working in the lubes side of the oil industry, I can assure you that the refineries supply all the outlets. Caltex owns Kurnell Sydney, plus a smaller one in Bris, BP owns Kwinana in WA, plus a smaller one in Bris I think, Shell owns Geelong until the deal goes through, plus a small one in Qld (lubes and grease). Mobil/Exxon owns Port Stanvac Adelaide, plus Altona.

    Do you REALLY think the oil companies are going to ship their OWN fuel all around the country, just so they can use it exclusively and, according to you, selectively adulterate it? Whatever you’re smoking, don’t go near a bowser, OK?

    The politest thing I can say is, as others have pointed out, your analysis lacks rigour.

    All refineries supply all comers (including the independents like United, AOP, and so on) using the standard Terminal Gate Price, which is struck weekly via the Import Parity Scheme.

    Adulteration of fuel is a serious business, and you should contact Consumer Affairs about it.

    BUT first let me tell you that I log all my kms for work, and I track my fuel consumption too. The biggest factors affecting my fuel efficiency are:
    a) stop/start driving eg. lots of customer calls in local streets (weighted average speed per the car computer is below 40kph) as compared to freeway/highway driving point to point
    b) air con! Man, that compressor sucks power away from the engine, up to 2L/100km difference
    c) loads – I deliver smaller orders by car rather than pay couriers, and the effect of say 100kg of oil in 20L containers in the boot is very noticeable.

    Dot, I have a Commodore with VTec II engine which GMH says is safe for ethanol up to 10% so E10 is OK. I have found that the 95RON E10 doesn’t make enough difference cf 91RON regular unleaded, and the 98 or 100RON “super” isn’t worth it. My only saving is via dockets (rare now) or regularly buying United E10 which is still 4cpl cheaper, without any dockets, ALONG WITH watching the weekly price cycle to avoid paying higher prices at the peak.

    And Eyrie, thanks for explaining RON. He should be pleased to be better understood now :-)

  121. JohnA

    ps: the listing of refineries is illustrative, not exhaustive.

  122. kae

    For me to get to the Woolies/Coles servos would cost me more than it would save me.

  123. Ripper

    For me to get to the Woolies/Coles servos would cost me more than it would save me

    Yep don’t know what it is like over east but here in the west Coles and woolies seem to be one or two cents cheaper (with a docket) than some independents. When I go home I fuel up at Wongan hills as it is generally the same price as the city. Of course having an eco friendly car helps to not worry about fuel prices that much.

  124. Dan

    I see now, though, they are giving a discount on cheap Chardonnay.

    Fuel bad. Booze good.

    Also, Woollies and Coles are reporting overall price deflation for FY13, of about 1.4% from memory. Cheaper food and fuel and the ACCC wants to shut it down.

  125. Dan

    Maybe, the reason for the ACC decision can be found in these words

    Costco (NASDAQ: COST), with its US$51 billion market capitalisation, is the eighth largest retailer in the world. Having first opened for business in August 2009 in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct, Costco now has a store in not just Melbourne but Canberra and Sydney as well.

    According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald the second Sydney site for Costco, which is due to open later this year, will feature a petrol station with nine fuel pumps. The SMH article suggests that Costco is confident its fuel prices for members will be the lowest in the market.

    It’s a claim that should make Australia’s major supermarket chains sit up and take notice. They are already under increased pressure from Aldi, and with Costco aiming to open five stores within the next 12 months as well as launching a discounted fuel offer, the competitive pressure is set to increase further.

    So the ACCC has taken it upon themselves to smooth the market when the big Americans start coming here?

  126. brc

    Clearly no mechanical engineers here. Octane rating is required for anti knock properties which depends on compression ratio. Higher compression ratio engines are more efficient but require higher octane fuel. There is no point in using higher octane fuel than required for anti knock properties. The engine won’t develop more power or be more efficient on higher octane fuel unless there is an electronic timing system that retards the ignition timing if lower octane fuel is used. I’ve actually seen engines with fixed timing develop less power when run on higher octane fuel as the higher the octane the slower the charge burns which has the effect of slightly retarding the ignition timing from the optimum on the lower octane fuel.

    read and learn, peoples.

    Although just about any car worth having does have sophisticated knock sensing built in these days.

    There is no doubt that 98 octane fuel is better when the car is built to use it. But is it 8-10c a litre better. I say no. I find it funny when people who scoff at paying more for a ‘label’ shirt turn around and swear that 98 octane is the only thing to buy. Both are straightforward price discrimination tactics to harvest more surplus from different levels of demand inelasticity in consumers. But you never spot yourself falling for price discrimination when it is ‘worth it’. I’m looking at you, first class fliers :)

  127. Infidel Tiger

    But you never spot yourself falling for price discrimination when it is ‘worth it’. I’m looking at you, first class fliers

    There are only 2 types of people in First Class. Those with so much money they could never spend it all and those that are fleecing shareholders with an overpriced business trip. Neither gives a shit if it’s value.

  128. Combine Dave

    Maybe, the reason for the ACC decision can be found in these words

    Costco (NASDAQ: COST), with its US$51 billion market capitalisation, is the eighth largest retailer in the world. Having first opened for business in August 2009 in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct, Costco now has a store in not just Melbourne but Canberra and Sydney as well.

    According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald the second Sydney site for Costco, which is due to open later this year, will feature a petrol station with nine fuel pumps. The SMH article suggests that Costco is confident its fuel prices for members will be the lowest in the market.

    It’s a claim that should make Australia’s major supermarket chains sit up and take notice. They are already under increased pressure from Aldi, and with Costco aiming to open five stores within the next 12 months as well as launching a discounted fuel offer, the competitive pressure is set to increase further.

    So the ACCC has taken it upon themselves to smooth the market when the big Americans start coming here?

    Are you sure the ACCC won’t take it’s fight to Costco for having selling below cost fuel (in the mind of the ACCC) and force them to raise their prices in line with their “competitors”.

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