Under a scheme announced by the Rudd government today, all fuel stations will have to reveal prices 24 hours in advance and motorists will be able to determine fuel prices in beforehand by signing up to SMS, toll free hotline or email alerts.
The scheme which is based on the ‘FuelWatch’ initiative from WA will force fuel station operators to notify the ACCC of their prices daily, but only when they intend on changing their price the following day.
Prime Minister Rudd admits that the scheme is not without its flaws and will take some time to implement, but hopes it will ensure motorists are not paying any more than they have to at the pump. He also advises the scheme consists of three main aspects.
“The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) will be notified each day at around 2pm by retailers across the country, as to their proposed price for the following 24-hour period, that is, for the next day.”
“Secondly, petrol retailers will be required to adhere to that price for that period of time.”
“Thirdly, the ACCC will then place that information in a manner which is available to the public, to the consumers, right across the country, by email, by toll-free telephone number and/or by other mechanisms as well.”
It is hoped, broadly speaking, that the scheme will bring consistency and transparency to an industry that has grown a lot of mistrust in recent times and eventually help avoid sharp rises during peak times. The scheme applies to all fuel types.