Why aren’t diesel prices dropping as fast as fuel?
UPDATE: DEPUTY Prime Minister Michael McCormack put fuel retailers on notice on April 2, imploring them to pass on the savings immediately.
"All motorists should be reaping the benefits of lower oil prices at the bowser," Mr McCormack said.
"Our truckies are playing such an important role during this pandemic making sure vital supplies such as medicine, medical equipment and food are transported across the nation to where they're needed most.
"I've been leading weekly teleconference calls with my State and Territory counterparts and industry leaders to make sure their concerns are heard and addressed and I will continue to advocate on behalf of the sector."
EARLIER: Labour Senator for Western Australia Glenn Sterle wants to know why diesel prices aren't dropping as fast as fuel prices.
"Diesel is an essential commodity in this country. We have already seen truckies face some pretty tough conditions in our regions with not being able to access roadhouses, rest areas and toilet and shower facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
"Now that that issue has fortunately been resolved, what is [the government] going to do to alleviate the cost pressures our truck drivers are facing at the bowser?"
He hit out at the Australian Government, slamming Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack for what he says is a lack of action.
"What is Minister McCormack actively doing about this issue?" said Mr Sterle, who is also the Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety.
"Has he engaged with transport associations to see what impact this is having on their members?
"Has he engaged the fuel companies to ask them what they can do to support the hard working men and women in the transport industry?
"His silence and lack of interest on this issue has been breathtaking. He is the Minister for Transport, it's time he stood up."
Australian Trucking Association chief executive officer Ben Maguire said the price of diesel had fallen by an average of 22 cents per litre as a result of the epidemic, which has "greatly benefited hard-pressed trucking businesses".
"Diesel prices have not fallen as far as petrol prices," he said.
"This is because diesel and petrol are not substitutes. Their prices are determined by different supply and demand factors.
"Diesel is in high demand in Asia. Australia imports 70 per cent of its diesel and Australia diesel prices closely follow the wholesale price of diesel in Singapore."
Mr Maguire said the ATA's focus was on arguing that the increase in the fuel tax and truck registration charges the government was planning for July 1, 2020, should not go ahead.