Daily News Roundup

September 11, 2018

Image: ABC News

Tuesday, September 11

Petrol prices in south-east Queensland have reached a four-year high, as motoring group RACQ accuses service stations of gouging customers.
RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said the average price for unleaded petrol in Brisbane had risen to $1.62 per litre — the highest figure since July 2014, reports the ABC.

“We haven’t seen a peak over $1.60 in four years, so this really is going to hurt drivers,” Ms Ross said.

Ms Ross said international factors were partly responsible, but retailers were also taking a big slice of the higher prices.

“We are seeing indicative retail margins of about 23 cents per litre,” she said.

“Global oil prices have been fluctuating over recent months and we have seen an increase in recent days in those prices so that is some way to understanding what’s happening here.

“But we also have service stations that are actually taking it to the next level and charging exorbitant prices, so that is really disappointing for Brisbane drivers.”

The organisation representing fuel retailers said business owners needed to make a return on their investments.

Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) chief executive officer Mark McKenzie said this peak in the price cycle was making up for discounts over the past three weeks.

“It’s almost like having a sale — then you go to recover the discounts that you’ve actually offered as you pack into the front of the petrol price cycle,” Mr McKenzie said.

Mr McKenzie said drivers should start to feel some relief at the bowser soon.

“We should start to steady out in terms of supply and production globally which should at least start to have a moderating effect on petrol prices across the region,” he said.

A trial of real-time fuel price monitoring is to begin in Queensland in December, with the data made available on smartphone apps and websites.

The State Government said all fuel retailers would have to supply updated prices within 30 minutes of a change at the bowser.

The RACQ warned the scheme would not be a silver bullet in terms of driving down prices.

“But what we hope will happen is that drivers will be able to use this information to their advantage and support those service stations charging the lowest prices,” Ms Ross said.

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Kensington Palace has confirmed Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will visit Dubbo and Fraser Island when they visit Australia in mid October.

Their official trip is aimed at promoting the achievements of injured soldiers taking part in the Invictus Games in Sydney and will focus on youth leadership and environmental causes.

The programme across these four Commonwealth countries will focus on youth leadership, and environmental and conservation efforts, including the dedication of several new @QueensCanopy projects.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also travel to Dubbo, Melbourne and Fraser Island.

Australia will be their first stop before they continue on to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.

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US President Donald Trump has received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un asking for a second meeting, and the White House is already looking at scheduling one, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says.

Reuters/ AP reported the two leaders have been discussing North Korea’s nuclear program since their unprecedented June 12 summit which has been criticised for being short on concrete details about how and whether Mr Kim is willing to give up on a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States.

Mr Trump told reporters on Friday a personal letter from Mr Kim was on the way.

“It was a very warm, very positive letter,” Ms Sanders said at a briefing.

“The primary purpose of the letter was to request and look to schedule another meeting with the President, which we are open to and are already in the process of coordinating that,” Ms Sanders said.

Ms Sanders told reporters the letter exhibited, “a continued commitment to focus on denuclearisation of the peninsula”.

She said a military parade in Pyongyang on Sunday was “a sign of good faith” because it did not feature any long-range nuclear missiles.

Mr Trump also praised Mr Kim for the lower-key parade.

“This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea,” the President tweeted on Sunday about the parade.

“Thank you To Chairman Kim. We will both prove everyone wrong!

“There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other! Much better than before I took office.”

Mr Trump recently called off a scheduled visit to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing lack of progress by North Korea in dismantling its nuclear arsenal.

Although North Korea has destroyed at least parts of its nuclear test site, and says it has dismantled a missile engine test site, it has yet to declare the contents of its atomic arsenal or take concrete steps to end its weapons program.

Last month, the UN atomic watchdog said it had “grave concerns” about the continuation and development of the country’s nuclear program.

 

This daily news roundup is curated by stories from ABC News.

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