Pollies ignore high cost of airfare, fuel
A couple of issues that emerged in the week serve to highlight the disparity in the way we are treated by just about every organisation and government department.
I refer, of course, to the debate over petrol prices and the absolute rip-off air ticket charges.
Good old Wendy Duncan has again shown her ability to read the mood of the electorate and to take up the cudgels on our behalf when needed.
Her task is made easier because she lives here with us, in her electorate, and so she readily hears, feels and understands our pain. We hear no such concerns from other parliamentary representatives who choose to live outside their electorate despite public professions that they would do so, if elected, during their election campaigns.
The most notable of these is none other than the Liberals’ Mark Lewis.
No wonder the Nationals and their Royalties for Regions have resonated with the regional electorates.
The great petrol price rip-off is testament to the “hands-off and let’s focus on the South West of WA” attitude by successive governments.
For instance, what can we make of the crazy thing called FuelWatch out of the WA Department of Commerce?
If you look at the website you will see all sorts of claims.
Try this one: under FuelWatch WA fuel consumers benefit from price transparency and reduced price volatility.
Well, transparency they deliver in spades because the benefits of FuelWatch are absolutely invisible.
As for volatility, they certainly got that right. We get little change at all despite prices in the metropolitan area, and the South West, falling dramatically.
Then they say we will benefit because they make service stations lock in tomorrow’s prices today. More like they managed to lock in yesterday’s prices for tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that.
Despite the international oil price plummeting we are still paying petrol prices that have successfully made the Middle East oil nations filthy rich and all FuelWatch can do is mouth meaningless irrelevant tripe.
If the Government seriously wants to reduce the cost of running “government” it should start there and wind up FuelWatch immediately.
We have pretty much the same problem with flight costs. I know of at least one upcoming conference in Kalgoorlie that will have no one from the near Asian neighbours attending as a direct result of the cost of air travel to and from Kalgoorlie.
Rail travel on the good Prospector service is not an option because of timing.
The unpalatable truth is that we can travel return from Perth to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, or many other Asian destinations, for less than we can generally travel one-way to Perth.
And what should we say of at least one of the airlines that continues to charge a fuel levy, imposed to counter extraordinarily high fuel charges a long time ago despite the cost of aircraft fuel falling faster than the nickel price on world markets.
It is disingenuous for their spokeswoman to suggest that we shouldn’t complain because “we” can get discount airfares, one-way, if we try. Bugger me, it’d be easier to pick the winning Lotto numbers than it is to find an airfare “cheapie”.
And what do we hear from the governments or agencies charged with investigations and prosecutions for unfair business practice? The answer is nothing.
Make no mistake, we are in a spot of bother, and the only ones that really care are us, and Wendy.
That’s my opinion, what do you think?