The state Opposition has reignited a call for greater government intervention in petrol prices in an attempt to close the gap between Tasmanian motorist costs compared to mainland counterparts.

Even though the state’s average on petrol prices has fallen more than 10 cents a litre over the past 40 weeks, it remains six to seven cents above national and regional averages.

The Australian Automobile Association Transport Affordability Index showed of all the capital cities, weekly fuel consumption was most expensive in Hobart at $60.66.

The report said the city’s residents spent between 14 and 15 per cent of their overall income on transport costs.

Labor has said it would require service stations to display only undiscounted prices and would establish a Fuel Price Oversight Officer if it was elected to government in 2018.

Infrastructure spokesman Craig Farrell said the fuel officer would monitor and collect fuel data, and encourage real-time online price data to enable motorists to track down the cheapest local fuel.

“It would also competition between fuel stations and encourage more independent operators to come into the market,” he said.

“It’s got to the point now that the gap has widened to an extent that it is really quite a serious problem.”

A state government spokesman said that Labor did nothing to address petrol prices during 16 years in government.

“The cost of living is a big issue for all Tasmanians,” he said.

“Fuel prices are a significant cost for most households and the government is looking at what we can do.”

The state’s average petrol price last week rested just below 122 cents.

Launceston and Devonport last week had the highest price at the bowser of all state cities at 121.9 cents a litre, followed by Hobart with 121.3 cents and Burnie with 120.5 cents.

New Norfolk was one of the cheapest places to fill up at 117.6 cents.

An Australian Competition and Consumer Commission into Launceston petrol prices this year found prices were higher than other areas due to lower levels of competition, lower fuel volumes, higher transport costs and retail outlet locations.

Launceston had maintained the state’s highest prices among Hobart, Devonport, Burnie and Ulverstone since 2012-13.

Extracted from The Examiner.