A petition launched by RACT has called on the state government to introduce real-time fuel price monitoring in a bid to lower petrol prices across Tasmania.
RACT executive manager, membership and community Stacey Pennicott said the petition was asking the government to introduce a system similar to FuelCheck in New South Wales, which was introduced in 2016.
“We believe this will hold fuel retailers to account, create more competition in the market and drive prices down,” Ms Pennicott said.
“The gap between the wholesale terminal gate price and retail price is inconsistent and often larger than our accepted average of 14 cents per litre.
“Analysis completed by the NRMA in New South Wales showed that ULP prices have fallen in the Sydney metropolitan market since the introduction of FuelCheck.”
Ms Pennicott said she believed motorists would shop around for the best prices with household budgets coming under increased pressure from transport costs.
“This has been proven by the uptake of our United Petroleum member discount, which was used by 104,000 members, saving $3.6 million last financial year,” she said.
Ms Pennicott said RACT has called for real-time fuel price monitoring to be funded in the past three state budget submissions and has written to the government on five separate occasions in the past 12 months calling for action on fuel prices.
“To date we have seen no action,” Ms Pennicott said.
“We have launched an online petition not only for our members, but for all Tasmanians to sign and take a stand against the rising costs of fuel.”
Minister for Building and Construction Elise Archer said she appreciated the detail RACT has provided regarding schemes in other states and she would give consideration as to whether such as model would be appropriate in Tasmania.
“I have asked my department to monitor the interstate trials and consider their application here,” Ms Archer said.
“I am committed to ensuring consumers in Tasmania get a fair deal compared to their interstate counterparts, particularly given the cost of fuel as a significant component of running a business.”
Ms Archer said the government has introduced two important petrol price transparency measures to help consumers.
“We have provided a one-off grant of $60,000 to the RACT to support a crowd-sourced Tasmanian fuel price app in partnership with GasBuddy,” she said.
“The second measure is that only un-discounted petrol prices can be displayed on petrol price boards.
“This provides enhanced information to drivers and brings the state into line with New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.”
Extracted from Tasmanian Examiner