Plans to kick off a real-time fuel pricing scheme in South Australia have slipped into next year following delays in the tender process.

The scheme was expected to be up and running by the end of this month but motorists will have to wait until March before being able to access real-time prices on apps and websites.

Close to $1.2m has been set aside in the State Budget for a two-year trial of the scheme, which will require all fuel retailers in the state to publish their prices, which can then be shared with the public online.

Retailers will have to disclose their fuel prices to a central database within 30 minutes of prices changing, or risk fines of up to $10,000.

A State Government spokeswoman said a tender process to appoint a company to operate the database was underway, with an announcement expected to be made before Christmas.

“The South Australian two-year fuel pricing information scheme trial is expected to start late February 2021, with fuel retailers required to register to take part,” she said.

“It’s anticipated motorists will be able to access fuel information through apps and websites by the end of March 2021.”

State parliament passed the long-awaited real-time fuel pricing legislation in July, with the local system designed in a similar way to the scheme currently operating in Queensland.

Existing fuel watch app companies will be able to access the pricing data.

The RAA, which has been campaigning for a government-backed fuel watch scheme, is expected to release its own app ahead of the scheme launch next year.

RAA spokesman Mark Borlace said motorists would welcome the introduction of real-time fuel pricing because it would give them the information they need to find the cheapest prices.

“We’re not sure whether it will drive prices down because we have a reasonably competitive market here – what we do know is that the system will ensure that transparency is there,” he said.

“If people don’t change their buying behaviour then sellers won’t change their selling behaviour, so we’ll be encouraging our members to use the apps.”

Extracted in full from: https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/business/sa-budget-2020-realtime-fuel-pricing-launch-delayed-to-march/news-story/87c56754d5909dc8757cae2f1d4d8a91

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