Bailey calls for calm on petrol



TASMANIANS should ``take a breath'' and wait to see what impact a rise in petrol prices could have on the state.

It is is expected the federal government will include an increase on the fuel excise in next week's budget in a move to raise $1 billion in revenue.

The increase is tipped to be by about 3 a litre, and there are fears Tasmania will be hit hardest.

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey said petrol was a major consideration for many businesses in the state.

``We are a community that is very dispersed, we're the only state where the majority of people live outside the capital,'' Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said that while the increase may mean $2 extra a tank, the talk of increased costs impacted on consumer confidence more than anything.

``If people think they can't afford things it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,'' Mr Bailey said.

``I say to those people: take a deep breath and wait and see what the change actually is,'' he said.

Mr Bailey said while the increase would have a minimal impact on retail and hospitality, transport and farming would be hurt by it.

``An increase will have a greater impact on communities in Tasmania than other major cities around the nation.''

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