South Australian motorists are closer to having real-time fuel pricing information from every retailer, nearly three years after it was flagged at the state election.

The State Government has announced its winning bidder to supply motorists with the aggregated data, which, due to legislation passed earlier this year, will have to be provided by all retail fuel outlets within 30 minutes of any change to their prices.

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman told ABC Radio Adelaide that retailers could be fined $10,000 if they did not comply.

“There are a number of apps already out there available that do provide a service, but they don’t include everyone,” she said.

“But with this extra component covered by legislation, it will be mandatory to do that report within the timeframe required.”

Informed Sources, which is behind the app MotorMouth and a petrol price monitoring trial in Queensland, is expected to make the SA app available to motorists by the end of March.

An online map of Adelaide with petrol prices.
A screenshot of Petrol Spy’s fuel price aggregator, which is already available online.(Website: Petrol Spy)

Brakes on rollout

The RAA has for years pushed for a real-time fuel pricing app but it was not until the lead up to the 2018 state election that the Labor Party promised to implement one with the backing of legislation.

Its pledge was conditionally backed by former senator and MLC Nick Xenophon and SA Best, while the Liberal Party — which ultimately won government — flagged that it was amenable to a similar scheme.

Shadow attorney-general Kyam Maher said South Australians would be “deeply disappointed we’re going through another holiday season without the app”.

“To see it taking three years is just unfathomable,” he said.

“The RAA reckons this will save [motorists] about $70 million just in Adelaide alone, let alone the rest of SA, so the inaction and delay has costs hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs to motorists around SA.”

He said Queensland has had its own trial up and running for two years and was now legislating to make its “fuel app permanent”.

“We’ve really missed the boat,” Mr Maher said.

“Other states have gone forward and we’re playing catch-up.”

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Two-year trial gives upgrade option

Ms Chapman said the Government spent time after the election looking at what other states were doing — Western Australia and Queensland, in particular.

“We thought the Queensland model was the best,” she said.

“We went through parliament, others in parliament raised other options so we had a look at that, and the Productivity Commission had a look at it all,” she said.

She said it was further recommended that the service was put out to tender, “so therefore that’s taken an extra few months”.

“Of course, we all like these things to be done quicker, but we have to respect the parliament, and we have to respect the tender process.”

Ms Chapman said the app would be rolled out on a two-year trial so the Government could upgrade its approach with changing technology if required.

“It’s changing monthly, basically, so we have to make sure we keep up with the most contemporary model to help people make that choice,” she said.

SA fuel retailors will be required to register for SA’s two-year trial in February.

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