Discounted fuel prices to be banned from service station boards

Ian Bushnell 28 November 2018 32

A petrol price board showing the discounted unleaded petrol price. Photo: Ian Bushnell.

Confusing fuel price boards will be a thing of the past in the ACT with service stations to be banned from displaying discounted prices under new laws to protect motorists from being misled.

ACT Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury said the changes would help motorists make informed choices about where they wanted to fill up.

“We have ongoing concerns that some motorists are paying more at the bowser than they expected,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Consumers should not be lured into petrol stations by cheap prices which are conditional on having a docket or in-store purchase and have the right to know exactly how much they are going to pay at the pump.”

The Consumer Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2018, due to be introduced into the Legislative Assembly today, would amend the Fair Trading (Fuel Prices) Act 1993 to ban service stations from displaying discounted prices on fuel boards, such as those that require a discount voucher or an in-store purchase; and require retailers to amend the price of fuel advertised on the fuel price board before changing the price displayed at the pump.

“Up-to-date information about price changes will mean that motorists should never pay more at the pump than the price advertised on the board,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“This is about creating greater transparency in the fuel market, and making it fairer for all motorists who are trying to find the best deal at the bowser. Motorists will be able to determine the real price quickly when driving past a fuel station.”

Retailers will have six months to prepare for the changes once the laws commence. Operators will still be able to advertise a special offer – such as four cents off fuel – but they will not be able to list the dollar amount on price boards.

The ACT Government has consulted with industry and these advertising changes bring the ACT in line with several other States including South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

“I know some service stations may have already changed their fuel boards in Canberra,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Depending on market fluctuations, petrol can be expensive in Canberra, making it all the more important that motorists can make informed choices about where they buy their fuel.”

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32 Responses to Discounted fuel prices to be banned from service station boards
Stef Qu Stef Qu 7:23 pm 29 Nov 18

I love signs.. I look before I drive in and I leave if it’s different from the sign..

Chelsea Gibson Chelsea Gibson 1:29 pm 29 Nov 18

Daniel Barac this petrol station 😖😖😖😖

    Daniel Barac Daniel Barac 2:10 pm 29 Nov 18

    Chelsea Gibson the worst petrol station in Canberra I swear!!

Ben Jones Ben Jones 6:05 am 29 Nov 18

If people can’t read that sign ..... 🤦🏻‍♂️

Paul Cooney Paul Cooney 2:24 am 29 Nov 18

How about the signs indicate how much of the price per litre goes to the Govt?

Louis Sotiropoulos Louis Sotiropoulos 10:28 pm 28 Nov 18

Those blokes who did the fuel page a while ago did more than the ACCC or anyone else. Pity they can't do what they used to

Jo Green Jo Green 7:52 pm 28 Nov 18

Jenny Peterson - seems like someone beat you to it 😂

Ingrid Mears Ingrid Mears 6:45 pm 28 Nov 18

How about putting the prices down where the actually should be, in line with Sydney!

    Brian McKenzie Brian McKenzie 10:36 am 29 Nov 18

    Ingrid Mears giver doesn’t set fuel prices

Fiona Beryl Fiona Beryl 6:12 pm 28 Nov 18

Can the ACT. Government outlaw the loophole currently allowing gambling venues the right to not pay jackpot wins because of “ machine error”?

Lucho Torres Lucho Torres 6:12 pm 28 Nov 18

That is bs. What about matching the prices nation wise?

bj_ACT bj_ACT 5:42 pm 28 Nov 18

If the ACT government wants to increase competition and reduce fuel prices for canberra motorists, they just have to release some land zoned for petrol stations on main arterial roads and make sure it’s available to independent service stations to rent.

It’s worked in other places, Woolworths and Coles won’t be happy however.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 10:56 pm 28 Nov 18

    The government could also reduce land tax which is passed on to every litre we buy.

    I mean, this is Canberra where the wages are the highest in Australia and everyone gets gouged accordingly.

    If you are buying a new car for example, the quote in Goulburn for the same car will be about 10% less than it will be in Canberra.

    Did you hear the car dealers in Melrose Drive last week saying that their rates had tripled?

    Get used to it.

    JC JC 7:19 am 29 Nov 18

    I’m curious as to where what you suggest has been done before?

    And I think you and others might be surprised there are a lot more independently owned services stations than you think. In Canberra it is around 25-30%.

    That said many independents brand their service stations under one of the big name brands, but are independently owned.

    And oddly some of the brands we believe to be independent are not quite as independent as we would think. They are just smaller players but not truely independent. Think United.

    Bottom line no easy fix. Biggest problem for Canberra is quite rightly lack of nearby competition plus of course the belief the market can bear a higher cost.

    bj_ACT bj_ACT 6:55 pm 29 Nov 18

    I’m only quoting Andrew Barr on Chief Minister talkback who said we don’t have enough Independents to bring the Petrol price down, and to answer your first question it was Sydney as to where it was done before. I presume it must have been local Council level incentives but maybe NSW state level.

Amy Lee Ford Amy Lee Ford 5:06 pm 28 Nov 18

That photo was taken in Weston Creek. I can tell you now, the reason they're doing this.

The multitudes old people can't adjust their glasses quick enough to read the right thing.

Oh, and the fact Canberras average wage is like $120,000.

    Alexander Ball Alexander Ball 5:21 pm 28 Nov 18

    Yeah higher than most, sure - but comon

    Amy Lee Ford Amy Lee Ford 5:21 pm 28 Nov 18

    I know. Its not our fault all the pollies visit a few times a year.

    Daniel Duncan Daniel Duncan 6:08 pm 28 Nov 18

    you know how average wage is worked out right?

Rollersk8r Rollersk8r 4:55 pm 28 Nov 18

Won’t do anything to change the main problem, which is lack of competition. It pays to check the map every time on sites like Belconnen town centre, for example, consistently seems to be one of the most expensive spots in Canberra.

Scott Malpass Scott Malpass 4:23 pm 28 Nov 18

How about the ACT Govt look at price gouging by the service station duopolies!!! Sydney $1.18c Canberra $1.55?? Oh that’s right we all earn what the pollies earn.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 4:38 pm 28 Nov 18

    Scott Malpass not much the local government can do. ACCC on other hand.

    Scott Malpass Scott Malpass 4:39 pm 28 Nov 18

    Ashley Wright true

    Ben Jones Ben Jones 6:04 am 29 Nov 18

    $1.35 at the airport yesterday. If only people looked harder.

Stewart Schram Stewart Schram 3:46 pm 28 Nov 18

ACT Govt hitting the big ticket items... same sex pedestrian walk dont walk signs, banning the advertising of discount petrol prices, support for hoarders.... if only we had more schools and teachers, a bigger jail, more Drs and nurses, shorter wait times at the hospital, lower rates, lower stamp know... real things

Adam Forwood Adam Forwood 3:45 pm 28 Nov 18

About time. NSW has had this for years. Even when you know they do it (looking at you Woolworths Gungahlin) it’s easy to be confused.

Jon Loiterton Jon Loiterton 2:58 pm 28 Nov 18

How about they let more independents in to the ACT and make sure the big companies can’t buy them out for at least 10 - 15 years so we can get competition and lower prices like the rest of the country

    Simon Argall Simon Argall 4:28 pm 28 Nov 18

    Jon Loiterton indies got pushed out by Woolies and Coles

    Rhonda Maxwell Rhonda Maxwell 8:05 pm 28 Nov 18

    As Jon said, make sure the big companies can't buy them out for at least 10 - 15 years.

basketcase basketcase 2:56 pm 28 Nov 18

They also should be prevented from advertising petrol that is not available. Twice I gone in for E10 (discounted) only to find none available. Sort of forced to buy the next highest grade.

Sure, sixty cents or so maybe no big deal, but you still feel as though you’ve been suckered in on a false hope.

justin heywood justin heywood 12:33 pm 28 Nov 18

Good move that

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