17 December 2015

THE fuel industry’s chief advocate says the ACCC has gone too far in accusing petrol retailers of price gouging.

Australasian Petroleum Marketers Association CEO Mark McKenzie says the fuel industry acknowledges that the September quarter saw a return to healthy profit margins but he rejected claims by consumer watchdog the ACCC in a recent report paper that the industry is price gouging motorists.

Mr McKenzie also said such commentary was “outside the remit of the ACCC”.

He said the price of fuel seems to be a conversation that occurs in the lead-up to the Christmas break every year.

“Our industry accepts that people don’t like paying more than they have to for their fuel but it also needs to be acknowledged that current retail fuel prices are actually well below the dizzy heights they reached a few years ago,” Mr McKenzie said.

“We believe some of the apparent hysteria surrounding this latest ACCC report is unjustified and much of the commentary fails to acknowledge that gross profit margins vary markedly, with some fuel retailers still receiving an average of just 3c a litre.

“As far as we understand it, the ACCC’s role is to ensure that competition in the market is effective as this is the best defence against high fuel prices.”

Extracted in full from the Sunshine Coast Daily.