We could all be in for a bit of relief at the petrol pump.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched an investigation into petrol pricing, this time looking at allegations of collusion between petrol stations.
Jorge Branco reports.
It’s no secret motorists are fed up with petrol prices.
And now the consumer watchdog is investigating claims petrol stations are making it even harder to find bargains.
Tony Burke, Federal Environment Minister: “This is the one price, that everybody checks, at every corner, as they drive, constantly monitoring it.”
It’s alleged the stations are using the website, Informed Sources, to mimic each others prices.
Brodie Bott, RACQ Spokesperson: “We’d like to see the information, that the petrol retailers share, shared with the public on a real-time basis.”
The RACQ is also calling for the scope of the inquiry to be widened.
Brodie Bott, RACQ Spokesperson: “We’d also like to see the ACCC look at fuel price boards which can often be deceptive and misleading and also look at the impact that shopper dockets have on the weekly fuel cycle.”
In the past, the ACCC has put the blame for high fuel prices on international oil companies. But yesterday’s announcement shows there could be problems closer to home, with local service stations, at least partly at fault.
But there’s concern this new inquiry won’t have any effect.
VOX 1: “Well I think it’s a waste of time all the inquiries they had, I’ve seen that many go on.”
Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “Well I must say there has been an inquiry under all governments, into petrol, virtually every 12 to 18 months so how
this will be different I don’t know.”
However most people want some sort of action.
Brodie Bott, RACQ Spokesperson: “Obviously there is a degree of gouging going on and retail margins are quite high at the moment and we eant to know why that is.”
Informed Sources has welcomed the investigation, saying it’s happy to help.
Jorge Branco, QUT News.