In recent weeks we have seen broad reduction in price of fuel on the back of the drop in value of crude oil.
(min cost $8)
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Unfortunately, it appears as though service stations in towns along the Newell Highway, in particular Parkes and Forbes, have gone rogue and have been charging significantly higher prices for fuel than just about anywhere else.
Whilst I appreciate service stations need to make money, it's not fair to take advantage of the situation by preying on locals, many of whom are doing it tough financially as a result of the drought and now the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week when visiting Parkes and Forbes I noted that E10 fuel was as much as 51 cents per litre more than was priced in the Blue Mountains on the same day.
Transport amounts to only a couple of cents per litre, so haulage costs cannot be a justification for the disparity.
We shouldn't be put over a barrel because of the current circumstances and locals being taken advantage of, many of whom are captive in their town because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Two weeks ago I referred this matter to the ACCC to be investigated, and I also wrote to both the state and federal treasurers to bring this matter to their attention.
I'll report back to you with their responses when I receive them.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic we have witnessed widespread jobs losses and some experts are now suggesting unemployment could end up being as many as one-in-four Aussies relying on social security benefits, in one form or another.
All of us must tighten our belts and help with the lifting, which is why my Shooters Fishers Farmers colleagues and I are calling on the NSW Government to immediately implement a wage freeze for all our politicians, tiers one and two government bureaucrats, and all bands of senior executives of the state public sector.
This wage freeze should remain in place for a period of 12 months, commencing July 1st.
We as leaders and elected representatives of the NSW community must share this burden and lead by example.
Many politicians and senior public executives benefit from a relatively reliable and substantial remuneration packages.
These wages should not rise during these harsh economic times - not even in line with the Consumer Price Index.
I'm hopeful that politicians and bureaucrats will agree with us in taking this measure.
If they don't, it's my opinion that they're simply unfit to represent or lead during this time of financial crisis.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian needs to make an executive decision, and we urge her to take our advice and implement this wage freeze, showing leadership and solidarity with the community of NSW.
Applications for the 2020 round of the Community Building Partnership Grants Fund opens on May 4, 2020.
For local sporting and community organisations this is a fantastic way to access funds to health nourish and grow your organisation for your members and the wider community.
Since being elected and becoming your local state member for Orange, I have been privileged to announce many successful applications, amounting to more than $1.2 million in funding to help grow local projects.
For guidelines and more information on how to apply, go to: nsw.gov.au/projects/community-building-partnership.
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