Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:50): Thank you, Mr Acting Speaker. What a fine job, and how good you look in that role today, sir. I rise to continue some comments in regard to the Fair Trading (Fuel Pricing Information) Amendment Bill. At the conclusion of my remarks just before the lunch break, I was talking about the ownership of service stations and how there are some quite large companies involved, with Woolworths involved with Caltex, Coles involved with Shell service stations and, obviously, we have the On The Run group here in South Australia.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Point of order.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Dr Harvey): Member for Hammond, there is a point of order. The member for West Torrens.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Sir, the Attorney-General read from a state document in her grievance debate. I ask that it be tabled.
The Hon. V.A. CHAPMAN: I note the member's request for the provision of the copy of the email. I am happy to oblige him. I want to make it absolutely clear what has been received. I will just find it again in my folder, but I undertake that provision.
The ACTING SPEAKER (Dr Harvey): The member for Hammond.
Mr PEDERICK: I was talking about the ownership of fuel companies in this state. There are not too many independents left. I noted the On The Run network, which is a network of essentially BP outlets throughout this state.
I note the forefather of Peregrine On The Run was Fred Shahin, the father of Sam Shahin and his brothers Charlie and Yasser. He came out here from the Middle East in 1984 and started with one service station. I think it is another one of those success stories of a migrant coming to the state and working hard and the family subsequently working hard and doing extremely well. Now, with at least 130 sites, I think they have somewhere around 4,000 employees, so they are significant economic contributors to this state.
What I also want to acknowledge, because I think it is important in this debate, is that we have had investment from bigger companies, obviously the bigger fuel companies, in the past. This is a company that has invested in fuel in this state and its service stations have made a massive investment in my electorate, at The Bend Motorsport Park, of at least $160 million. I think Sam Shahin is probably resigned to the fact that some of that he will never see again. It is good that he is dedicated to his sport, driving his Porsche around the track.
It is so great to see that massive investment just outside Tailem Bend. I note that the new dragstrip is being built there as we speak, and it will be fantastic not just for the locals but for people to get out there from Adelaide. It is only an hour from the edge of the city, and it is fantastic entertainment and in exactly the right place. I also note the recent investment at the Mallala track in recent times. What I am saying is that there are some people who have made significant investments, many and varied, in this state in regard to service stations. I acknowledge all of those investments.
I also want to acknowledge another thing, and I know that it is talked about widely in this debate, and that is the price of fuel. I certainly believe that the price of fuel not just here, because we work on world parity pricing, would be a lot more if we did not have fracture stimulation around the world. As I have said to this house before, I was involved with it in the early eighties. For 12 months I did low volume fracture stimulation with Gearhart Australia. High volume fracturing in the US has pretty well made the United States self sustaining in oil and gas.
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis: Energy independence.
Mr PEDERICK: Yes, energy independence. As we know, fuel is dear enough. We have had many conversations in this house around fracture stimulation and access to fuel, but the simple fact is that we are going to need oil and gas for a long time yet. I appreciate that things are moving forward in relation to electric cars, but they still need their power generated from somewhere.
We have a vast range of power generation, whether it is solar, wind or gas, and we are still linked in to coal obviously in the network through the interconnector. We are going to build—and I am sure it will get through all the regulatory approvals—the interconnector through to New South Wales, which will link our renewables, our solar and our wind, through to coal in the Eastern States.
I want to make the point that we will be reliant on petrol, oil, gas and diesel for a long time yet. It has always intrigued me how diesel can be—I do not know, I will throw a number out—20 or 30¢ a litre dearer than unleaded. What is that all about? Why I ask that question so much is that obviously it gets cleaned up in refineries to a reasonable state but it is far less refined than any unleaded petrol.
Part of my work was in the oilfield all those years ago at East Mereenie field, a few hundred kilometres outside Alice Springs. To get access to fuel they had a light crude well and all they had on the surface was a separator to drain the water out. We ran that light crude oil straight into our diesel vehicles. They ran a bit lumpy, but it was good enough.
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis: That's right. I saw it myself.
Mr PEDERICK: Absolutely. It was certainly good enough for the long haul trucks, the rig trucks and certainly for our Toyotas, or what we called them in the field, as the Minister for Primary Industries would know from his time in the gas fields, whoopies. Mainly, it was Toyotas that would run on this light crude oil, which essentially comes out of the ground and you just separate a bit of water off and away you go.
It has always intrigued me that the price of diesel can be so much more than the price of unleaded. I believe that there are a lot more diesel vehicles on the road now than in times gone by and it is a very good fuel, but it just shows where there is a need. Certainly, there was no need at the time because the fuel was good enough for diesel vehicles to cart fuel. It was very energy efficient to cart fuel those 200 or 300 kilometres out to the oilfield and have all that cost and impact on the companies. It is a big tale, the price of fuel.
The measure we are taking involves several apps, depending on whichever app you are keen on. As I said, I will probably rely on my two young boys to download it for me and make sure I have everything on spec and ready to roll.
The Hon. C.L. Wingard: You got them dinner last night.
Mr PEDERICK: Yes, I did get them dinner last night. We can get this online so that we can save costs for South Australians and move forward with real-time pricing and distinctly heavy penalties if people do not comply. I commend the bill.