Petrol stations have been put on notice by the Morrison government after the launch of a national audit into the accuracy of fuel pumps in the lead-up to the Easter long weekend.

Industry Minister Karen Andrews­ said it was important Australian consumers got what they paid for when they bought products by weight, volume or number. “The Morrison government is putting fuel retailers on notice, and they can expect a rigorous­ but fair approach during the inspections conducted by the National­ Measurement Instit­ute,” Ms Andrews said.

The NMI will conduct the national­ audit program from April 1 to 5. It will include audits of 250 retail fuel outlets and testing of 1000 fuel pumps nationwide.

The regulator has the power to issue infringement notices and fines of $1050 per offence.

If an outlet is prosecuted for a serious offence, the maximum fines are $210,000 per offence as a company­ or $42,000 per offence as an individual.

“While most businesses want to do the right thing, there are penalties for businesses that breach the law,” Ms Andrews said.

“Australian consumers need to be confident they’re getting what they pay for at the fuel pump and we are committed to ensuring this confidence is upheld and maintained.”

The NMI revealed at the start of the year that testing of petrol and diesel dispenser accuracy last financial year found 4.8 per cent underpoured, which was double the rate of two years earlier.

“Consumer concern about this issue is reflected in almost two-thirds of complaints to NMI about potential breaches of trade measurement law being related to short measure from fuel dispense­rs,” the regulator said in its annual trade measurement compliance report.

Extracted from The Australian