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Further increases in petrol prices are predicted as Australia’s unleaded benchmark price scaled a 10-month high of almost $100 a barrel in the past week.  

While the continued signs of a recovery in the global economy had been great news for share market investors, the same could not be said for motorists, Commonwealth Securities economist Savanth Sebastian said.

The Australian Institute of Petroleum’s weekly report showed the unleaded petrol prices rose by an average 1.9 cents per litre in the past week to 124.5 cents.

The average metropolitan price rose by 2.6 cents a litre to 124.2 cents, while the regional average price rose by 0.7 cents to 125.1 cents.

“The glut of oil inventory on global markets is not putting downward pressure on prices,” Mr Sebastian said, adding traders and investors were focussed on the recovery story.

Even a strong Australian dollar has not been able to significantly absorb the rally in oil prices.

This resulted in the benchmark for Australian unleaded petrol – the Singapore gasoline price – rising to a 10-month high of $99.70 from $97.33 in the past week.

“If there is any consolation for motorists, it is that the rise in pump prices is likely to be rather sedate,” Mr Sebastian said.

“The petrol price will rise over the next fortnight, but only modestly, up around three to five cents a litre.”

Source  :  www.thewest.com.au

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THE Rudd Government has dumped one of its key election promises, the Grocery Choice price monitoring website, after supermarkets failed to provide enough information to make the site reliable.

After a meeting today with major supermarkets, Competition Minister Craig Emerson announced that the measure – an election promise that was aimed at keeping grocery prices low – would not proceed, The Australian reported.

“Upon close examination of the data requirements for reliable price information, I have formed the view that it is not feasible to generate that information in a timely manner, “ Dr Emerson said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    website cost of living in oz

The scheme had been due to be up and running next week.

The dumping of Grocery Choice comes after the Government last year abandoned FuelWatch after it was defeated in the Senate.

Mr Rudd campaigned heavily prior to the election on easing the cost-of-living pressures on working families and increasing competition in the petrol and grocery sectors.

Both FuelWatch and Grocery Choice were criticised for not putting downward pressure on prices.

Earlier this month it emerged that the consumer advocate Choice would be forced to go it alone on the website as the major supermarket chains continued to drag their feet over supplying price data.

Choice took over the running of the website from the Rudd Government, which launched it after campaigning on easing cost-of-living pressures before the election.

The $13 million site, which originally launched last August, was heavily criticised for displaying information that was too general and outdated to be useful.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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500_cabrio1FIAT HAS ANNOUNCED that the convertible version of its ever-so-fashionable 500 will be landing on Australian shores in the middle of next year; roughly a year after the car’s   European sales debut.

Exact specifications and pricing won’t be announced until the car’s local launch, but given the convertible packs the same mechanical hardware as its be-roofed stablemate, odds are high engine choices will be shared with the tin-top Fiat 500.

That means a 55kW 1.3 litre diesel, 51kW 1.2 litre petrol and 74kW 1.4 litre petrol should be offered, while a fuel-saving start-stop system will also feature on the 500C’s spec sheet.

But for many buyers it won’t be the engine line-up or economy rating that will be the 500C’s real drawcard. It’s all about looks, and in that department the diminutive Fiat ragtop doesn’t disappoint.

Source  :  www.themotorreport.com.au

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Firemen will work through the night to clear petrol from the scene of a massive explosion at a petrol station in the Perth suburb of Maddington.

A petrol tanker exploded at the Caltex station, starting a fire that destroyed parts of the vehicle, the roof of the forecourt and the shop front.article-fire-pic-420x0

A Fire and Emergency Services Authority spokesman told AAP the fire was brought quickly under control by firefighters.

“The focus is now on making the scene safe, which is a very important task,” the spokesman said.

“There was a fair bit of damage to the majority of the building.”

Petrol still left in the 40,000-litre tanker will be drained into another tanker, while specialists work to recover any water that may have been contaminated by the unleaded petrol.

About a quarter of the petrol in the tanker burnt in the fire.

Homes and businesses, including a suburban shopping centre, within a 500-metre radius of the station have been evacuated.

Residents will not be allowed to return until authorities are confident the area is safe and there is no petrol left to ignite.

That is likely to be sometime late on Friday night, the spokesman said.

No one was injured in the incident.

“It is great news. Fire authorities were called very quickly, and they got to the scene in a good time, meaning there were no injuries.

“There were people on the forecourt, in the shop, and of course the tanker driver,” the spokesman said.

The truck will not be removed until Saturday, while the investigation into why the fire started will continue for a few days.

www.news.ninemsn.com.au article

www.watoday.com.au Ben White photo

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