Real-time reporting of fuel prices and a 24 hour price guarantee at metropolitan petrol stations would be made compulsory under plans from independent MP Frances Bedford.

She will introduce the Fuel Watch Act on Wednesday afternoon, which she says could save motorists $300 a year.

Fuel retailers would be required to notify the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs of any price changes within 30 minutes, which would then be displayed on a fuel watch website.

The Adelaide metropolitan area would be declared a “fuel watch area”, meaning service stations would be banned from changing their prices more than once a day.

They would have to report their intended price to the Commissioner at 2pm the day before and then be allowed to change it at 12am or 6am, locking it in for 24 hours.

The State Government would also be able to declare any zone outside Adelaide a fuel watch area if it saw fit.

A similar system of price-freezing has existed in Western Australia since 2001.

The government promised real-time fuel pricing shortly after it was elected in 2018, however, it has so far only referred the idea to the Productivity Commission for investigation.

The Commission is expected to report back with its findings in the first quarter of this year.

Ms Bedford criticised the lack of action and said it was time to “get on with helping motorists to know when petrol is cheapest”.

“The spike in fuel prices over the past 12 months has made the cost of missing out on cheap petrol on any given day in the cycle an even bigger problem for the motoring public,” Ms Bedford said.

“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel when there are interstate models perfected over recent years.”

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman said the Productivity Commission was already looking into a price freeze model.

“The Government will await the outcome of the Productivity Commission’s investigation before progressing any reform in this area,” Ms Chapman said.

An RAA poll of more than 500 motorists in December found nearly two thirds of people would use a real-time fuel price website to choose where they fill up.

The Advertiser yesterday reported that some service stations just 100m apart were selling fuel at a 50c price discrepancy as the latest hike in the fuel cycle begins.

RAAA fuel expert Mark Borlace have been contacted for comment.

Extracted from Adelaide Now