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.”