25 September 2023

Report pulls plug on petrol prices

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The Legislative Assembly’s Select Committee on Fuel Pricing in the ACT has published an interim report on its inquiries to date and has invited comment from the public.

The Committee has been inquiring into how fuel prices are set in the ACT, the reasons for pricing discrepancies compared to other cities, the impact of costs on Canberra drivers, and possible measures which may result in lower costs and greater certainty and transparency.

Chair of the committee, Tara Cheyne MLA said it had received several hundred submissions, held seven public hearings and conducted a visit to Victoria and Western Australia to understand the approaches those States had adopted.

“It is apparent that the ACT fuel market is not meeting consumer expectations,” Ms Cheyne said.

“Evidence is clear that ACT fuel prices are consistently higher than Sydney prices and those in nearby regional NSW towns,” she said.

“The possible contributors to the higher prices in the ACT are explored in the interim report.”

She said a range of different measures to address the situation had been proposed to the committee.

“It is difficult to forecast the impact of each of the different measures on fuel prices, but some different measures will guarantee other potential benefits the committee believes could be of genuine benefit to the community, such as transparency, visibility, certainty and fairness,” Ms Cheyne said.

She said the committee was seeking the views of community, industry and Government on possible measures that may be taken, from the options of doing nothing to setting maximum retail margins for fuel companies to providing subsidies for low-income families.

The Committee’s 26-page interim report can be accessed at this PS News link and submissions will be accepted until 30 July.

A final report to the Assembly is due on 17 September.

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