Malcolm Turnbull has pledged to talk to the head of the chairman of the consumer watchdog about petrol prices, after acknowledging costs are a ‘real concern’.

Consumer advocates say motorists aren’t reaping the full benefit of reduced international crude oil and refined petrol prices, which are at the lowest level for more than a decade.

Of Australia’s five largest cities, Brisbane has recorded this highest retail prices in the past year with motorists paying an extra 4.1 cents a litre.

The prime minister says that while the petrol retail market is competitive, motorists don’t have time to drive around trying to find the cheapest fuel.

‘I’ll make it my business in the course of today to get in touch with Rod Sims myself,’ he told Sydney radio 2GB.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten doesn’t expect suppliers to change their practices.

‘When Malcolm Turnbull says he will make a phone call, my advice is if you find a low price petrol station fill up today,’ he told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Shorten said there was no simple solution, but public pressure was important.

Shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh said the Australian Competition and Consumer needed a ‘market studies power’ and should be armed with stronger penalties for firms doing the wrong thing by consumers.

‘The question is not whether or not the PM can ask the ACCC to do something, but what teeth the ACCC has to do it,’ Dr Leigh said.

‘Frankly, if all you are doing is asking a sheep to do a tiger’s job, it’s not going to have much teeth.’

The Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association says more government regulation has increased costs, while margins are being squeezed by increased competition in the convenience store market.

Motorists are also shopping around using new mobile phone applications that provide regularly updated petrol price information.

Extracted in full from Sky News.

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