Member for Robertson Gordon Reid is “underwhelmed” by a response from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concerning the disparity in petrol prices across the Central Coast and between regions in NSW.

CCN’s most recently published article of many over the years highlighted the large disparities in prices across the region, lamenting the lack of progress by MPs, the ACCC and NSW Fair Trading.

Reid wrote to the ACCC in November, concerned that Coasties were paying more for petrol than those in other regions.

“It is no secret that on the Central Coast, motorists here often pay 20-30 cents more per litre (than people in other areas),” he said.

“It is time the ACCC investigates this matter appropriately and provides a detailed explanation.”

But Reid is unimpressed with the ACCC’s response.

“The ACCC has provided an underwhelming bureaucratic response to my representations about petrol prices on the Central Coast,” he said.

“(It has) listed several reasons for why petrol prices are higher in the region, namely lower levels of competition, geographical reasons and prices for international refined petrol.

“The response fails to mention why the big oil corporations are charging Central Coast motorists higher petrol prices, with significant disparities between service stations.

“I will be referring this response from the ACCC to the Minister for Financial Services and the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, to request their advice on this issue.

“I will also be writing to the big oil corporations that operate services stations across the Central Coast and asking them to explain why we continue to have higher petrol prices.

“I will continue to represent my community on this issue and will not give up where others have.”

The ACCC response says in part: “Wholesale and retail fuel prices in Australia are determined by market forces.

“The ACCC does not set or regulate prices in petrol markets, and does not have the powers to do so.

“In the absence of conduct that is in breach of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, such as price agreements between competitors, high petrol prices are not themselves (sic) illegal.”

The full response can be seen on Reid’s Facebook page.

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