We do understand and have reported that the petroleum industry has been facing increased compliance costs in recent years, especially in NSW. We think this information is especially important today when there appears to be increasing confusion about fuel prices due to the changing nature of the price cycle over recent years. Analysis of fuel price data by the RACQ has revealed the suburbs across the southeast where competition is most fierce, showing the locations where prices have hit rock bottom the most over the past six months. It assists consumers to make better decisions about when and where to buy petrol, including by identifying the best time to buy and the sites with the lowest prices. In our quarterly reports we have reported on the increased take-up of fuel price apps and websites in recent years. The Chilean scheme commenced in February when the government legislated that retail sites post their prices on a government website and keep prices updated as they changed. Especially when price movements can be large and inexplicable. Ultimately, we believe that consumers are better off and markets perform better if consumers are well informed.
Informed Sources Managing Director Alan Cadd told the ABC motorists would have access to price data that was more accurate than the twice-daily updates currently available through the Motormouth website. In December there was a change in the focus in the Ministerial Direction — from our longer, annual reports to shorter, more consumer-focused quarterly reports. There are two aspects of the analysis that make it difficult: The NRMA said it already provided a form of price monitoring on its website, but said it was a "game changer" that information would now be provided in real time. In Cairns, for example, we found that while the majority of the market, including all the major retailers, were usually around the same price, there were two small independents that were consistently around 10 cpl cheaper than the market. Goodna and Redbank came in second, with 56 days where at least one service station in the arearegistered the cheapest price, followed by Jindalee and Mount Ommaney with 39 days. While there were some differences that made each location unique, there were several common themes across all these studies. First posted February 16, I believe so," he said. Some international evidence shows petrol price transparency helps retailers more than consumers In recent years we have seen a move towards fuel price transparency in other jurisdictions around the world. However, I believe that the starting point is really important here. Each subscriber to the Informed Sources service is required to provide the price of fuel at each of their service stations, usually updated electronically every 15 minutes, and receives the prices provided by other subscribers in return. NSW introduced a state-wide scheme in August called FuelCheck that covers all sites in the state. We were concerned that offers by the major supermarkets of fuel discounts of 8 cpl or more could have longer-term effects on the structure of retail fuel markets. Looking back over the last 10 years, activity in the petrol industry has involved a number of areas of ACCC responsibility. It also integrates with Google Maps to direct users to a preferred service station. But while we believe that having many website and app providers can be a good thing, the timeliness and completeness of the price data is very important. Indeed, I meet many journalists who are of the same view. Consumer information services must have approval to receive the price data. Under the Informed Sources service, petrol retailers currently exchange site-by-site petrol prices covering most of Australia every 15 or 30 minutes. RACQ executive director of public policy Michael Roth said the data, taken from the Motormouth website , revealed the areas around the southeast where service stations regularly had the lowest prices in the market. By avoiding purchasing petrol at the peak of the price cycle, motorists could see savings of between 2. This takes us from a long-standing arrangement whereby only the major retailers had access to comprehensive information about petrol prices, to consumers now being empowered to make purchasing decisions through a range of fuel price apps and websites. When it comes to consumer issues, petrol prices are among the most pressing concerns for consumers and, as a result, for the ACCC and governments. In other countries, the Government pays to maintain the system, but that will not happen in Australia. In areas where consumers took greater advantage of the fuel website margins increased only slightly or fell.
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