The legislation to see the introduction of a nation wide Fuelwatch scheme has been defeated in the Senate today in a move welcomed by the VACC.
The Fuelwatch scheme which many claim was flawed from the outset, would not actually have saved retail purchasers (motorists) money, with many actually believing the scheme would have resulted in higher net prices.
Mr Purchase of the VACC said of the scheme “In August, VACC made its submission to the Senate Economics Committee, on behalf of independent service station owners in Victoria and Tasmania, stating it was ‘opposed to regulation of prices in the retail fuel market that will handcuff retailers and will not introduce greater transparency to the wholesale supply of fuels’.
“Fuelwatch was flawed because it targeted retail fuel prices. The only way to ensure cheaper fuel prices is to allow independent service station operators fair and equitable access to competitive fuel supply at the terminal gate. The wholesale market is all-but wholly in the hands of the big oil companies.
“VACC believes the proposal by the Service Station Association (SSA) to force the oil majors to share port facilities with competing importers will introduce greater competition at the wholes level.
“VACC recommends the ACCC and the new Petrol Commissioner, Mr Joe Dimasi, turn their attention to the operation of the wholesale fuel market, the buy/sell arrangements and the relationship between the oil majors and their supermarket partners.”
Though talks in the Senate did not completely rule out re-introduction of a similar scheme further down the track, for now at least common sense has prevailed.
CarAdvice are keen to hear your thoughts. Do you believe the FuelWatch scheme could have worked?