Petrol prices have just hit a record high of $1.62 per litre in Australia, even though petrol is still cheaper in comparison to Europe ($2.25 in Italy, $2.28 in France, $2.33 in UK, $2.45 in Denmark).
As demand (mainly from China) increase and supply dwindles, this trend is set to continue quite rapidly, as I have noted previously.
Kevin Rudd said today that "unfortunately there is no silver bullet for petrol prices" on television tonight. I beg to differ. Fortunately, there are at least two silver bullets.
1.CNG conversions and refuelling infrastructure for cars, trucks and buses
While natural gas supplies are finite, it is a cleaner and cheaper fuel than petrol. We should be using it for transport now.
2. Improved public transport and more cycle paths
The impact of petrol and fuel price rises on household incomes will be reduced if people have practical alternatives to cars. Improved public transport and better cycle paths provide us with options for lower emissions and cheaper transport. Unfortunately, the federal budget provided no funding for either.
We need leadership and funding from federal and state governments for both these opportunities as we shift towards a carbon constrained economy.