ACCC report proves real time fuel data needed: RACQ

RACQ said it would lobby the State Government for real time fuel data so it could name and shame overcharging Cairns service stations.

The State’s peak motoring body also called on the Government to urgently abolish confusing petrol price boards around the State, after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) revealed profits at Cairns service stations were 38 percent higher than the national average.

The ACCC report also showed over the past five years Cairns motorists paid on average 11 cents per litre more for unleaded petrol than those in major cities around Australia, with a lack of competition evident.

RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the motoring body would not rest until prices in Cairns dropped to a fair level.

“Today’s report shows the need for the State Government to bring forward its plans for petrol price board regulation. This would get rid of confusing discount signage aimed at luring motorists in under false pretences,” Ms Smith said.

“The Government also needs to take a look over the border where the New South Wales Government is providing motorists with real time data for every fuel station site in the State. We need access to data such as this so we can name and shame those service stations which are ripping Cairns motorists off.”

Ms Smith said the report also revealed the average profit collected by each Cairns service stations over a five-year period was $512,000, four times higher than those taken in Innisfail.

“The report shows although servos in Innisfail sold less fuel by volume, and retail margins were lower, retailers there chose to compete by selling fuel at fairer prices.”

The ACCC offered several recommendations into the Cairns ULP market:

  • Increase transparency and promotion of price reporting
  • Monitor and report high retail prices
  • Promote new entrants into the market.

The full report can be read here.