Emily Bennett 20/5/16

Motorists will be able to find the most competitive petrol price at the touch of a button from today.

MotorMouth is one of the first companies to release the new app accessible through your phone.

NRMA president Kyle Loades said the new system meant the weight of power had finally tipped to favour motorists.

“The major oil companies have been sharing price movements among themselves while locking out the rest of the community, which is why the NSW government was forced to make online, real time prices mandatory for all service stations,” Mr Loades said.

ACT Petrol Watch co-founder Benjamin Ling has witnessed the impact of the price-sharing app Petrol Spy on the Canberra market which he said provided “better competition”.

“It provided consumers with pricing information, which enabled them to make better purchasing decisions and it also forced the greedy petrol stations out into the open,” Mr Ling said.

“They couldn’t depend on the fact that consumers didn’t know that better value was available at the next station.”

Mr Ling said the savings for the average ACT family with two mid-sized cars was “as much as $1824 per year based on 50 litre tanks filled weekly”.

“To get to that change to happen, we all shopped smart and avoided the higher priced stations until they fell into line,” he said.

“Sometimes this meant driving a little further to make the saving – but the distance versus fuel savings was totally worth it.”

Local MP Jai Rowell said he intended to monitor petrol prices in the Southern Highlands.

“I will continue to relay constituent information regarding the varying prices,” Mr Rowell said.

“Although this issue comes under the federal jurisdiction, I will continue to lobby the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about this issue,”

“[I will also] ask the petrol companies to treat Southern Highlands pricing in the same manner as the rest of the state.”

Mr Rowell said he believed the app was as a “good start”.

“For anyone who cannot access the app, I ask people to call the ACCC,” he said.

“I thank the community working with me to bring prices into line and hold to account those responsible.”

Hume MP Angus Taylor said he was “in regular contact with the ACCC about the issue of petrol prices”.

“I will also be watching with interest to see the impact of real time petrol prices as they become available online from Informed Sources,” Mr Taylor said.

Informed Sources is the service that allowed petrol companies to share pricing information among themselves and this information has now become available to the public following action taken by the ACCC.

The ACCC settled with Informed Sources and petrol retailers BP Australia, Caltex Australia Petroleum, Woolworths and 7-Eleven stores after they attained an agreement that they would make their prices available to consumers and third party organisations including app developers.

Extracted in full from Southern Highland News