So, about that temporary (six month) fuel excise reduction from the end of March 2022
Treasurer-at-the-time Josh Frydenburg clearly stated that it was a temporary measure, and that he expected the price for crude oil to return to around US$100 per barrel by the end of September when six months had passed. Since coming to power, Labor also reiterated that it was a temporary measure, and said on more than one occasion that they did not intend to extend it.
And here's why not extending it was a good idea. In fact, I think they should be increasing the tax, sorry, excise, on crude products.
You're yelling at me inside your head right now, aren't you. And maybe not just with your inside voice. Hear me out.
First up, the year-to-date average (not the day's price, the average closing price) had already come down to US$100 per barrel at the start of September 2022. Furthermore, data from macrotrends.net said August 31's closing price was US$89.20, which was less than the month of February's low of US$89.36 on February 8 (just over two weeks before Russia ramped up the scale of their war in Ukraine).
Secondly, the reason crude oil went up was because the price it's traded at is extremely sensitive to the balance between supply and demand. So, reducing the price to increase demand was only going to keep demand high, thus keeping the price per barrel high.
Additionally, the reason it went up to start with was because supply was also somewhat strained as NATO nations and allies began weaning themselves off Russian fossil fuels, including crude oil.
Thirdly, we absolutely need more road funding, and it needs to come from somewhere. Australian roads are already heavily subsidised by other sources of revenue, to the tune of more than $20billion annually when there isn't year after year of rain and floods destroying infrastructure and causing anything from way more potholes to entire emergency-level wash-outs.
Local councils, who are responsible for a lot of roads which commuters and local businesses use, can only increase their road budget in three ways. They either raise rates, reduce other local services, or they put their hand out for state and/or federal government funding and hope they get some.
Fourthly, if the discussion on fuel efficiency targets started in August is anything to go by, we should all be doing something about reducing our crude oil consumption, and now. Put another way, higher prices should, for smarter people at least, be incentivising them to find more efficient solutions.
So, (and I have tried to say this before), if you think crude petrol or diesel prices are too high then find ways to use less of it. The solution for individuals is really that simple.
Everyone who can work from home, should. Everyone who can use a form of public transit - and that includes students of all ages, especially since it's your future and your children's future we're supposed to be protecting - should. Everyone who could car pool to share the burden of driving when that's the only option, should.
What you drive also matters. The heavier it is, the more energy it takes to move it. We've got a population who all seem to want heavy SUVs and off-road recreation vehicles, complaining that it costs a lot to run them.
That said, the poor condition of the roads is not an incentive to downsize. An unsighted hole in the dark already destroyed a genuine factory wheel (and the tyre on it) on my diesel hatch this year, and (even when the rest of the car somehow seems to survive such a severe impact without suspension or windscreen damage) that gets expensive real quick.
There are also alternatives. Australia basically squandered its chance to embrace biofuels about 10 years ago (and so petrol burners especially are suffering for it now, and it's probably the main reason why I don't seem sympathetic), but even old-school alternatives to petrol like LPG seem to be forgotten too (still a fossil fuel, but generally lower in most emissions and cheap enough that a decent closed-loop control system will mean it's cheaper to run than petrol).
Meantime, diesel users know they go further per litre than petrol, but DPF-era vehicles don't like frequent short trips or biodiesel, so they're not a solution for everyone.
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