A dramatic increase in petrol prices would lead to an investigation of oil companies, The Canberra Times announced on this day in 1991, following outrage over an Easter price hike.
The prices had shocked many motorists waiting to fill their tanks before embarking on their Easter endeavours, until their holiday happiness was disrupted by 6c to 8c a litre rises sparking instances of abuse towards service-station staff.
The ACT Attorney-General, Bernard Collaery, said the price hike was "nothing but a rip-off".
"Just as people are about to go on holiday and coinciding with pay day, petrol prices have dramatically increased."
He said the differences between Sydney and Canberra prices did "not add up". "We are trying to get to the bottom of just why our prices are so much higher," he said.
The Trades Practices Commission announced they would conduct an immediate investigation of oil companies and seek evidence of collusion. "If there is any evidence that the price rises were due to some sort of collusive agreement between the oil companies, then we would be most interested in seeing it," said a spokesman for the TPC.
The Minister Assisting the Treasurer, Simon Crean, said the price hikes were a "cynical exercise of market power by an industry sector that has recently announced large profit increases for 1990".
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