Fuelwatch A Circus

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16th April 2008, 07:00pm - Views: 475





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FOR IMMEDIATE USE


APRIL 16, 2008


FUELWATCH A CIRCUS: BETTER FOR THE ACCC TO TACKLE

COMPETITION AT THE WHOLESALE LEVEL


VACC believes that, on balance, the FuelWatch system announced by the Federal

Government and the ACCC, will not produce the savings motorists may be hoping for

and, at best, will only ever have a marginal effect on motorists’ pockets.


“While we support action by the ACCC to bring greater transparency to the market,

and do not doubt the sincerity of the Federal Government and the ACCC in

announcing the system, VACC does not believe that FuelWatch is the right action,”

VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.


“We believe that the cost to set up and monitor the FuelWatch scheme, reported to

be $21million, outweighs any marginal benefit to motorists. 


“Regrettably, with oil at record highs on the international market, motorists can

expect to keep delivering record profits to the oil companies, and record excise and

GST revenues to Federal and State coffers, regardless of FuelWatch.  


“In VACC’s view, FuelWatch is a bit of a circus. The real task for the ACCC, and the

best opportunity to return competition to the petrol retail market, which is now nearly

wholly in the hands of the oil majors and their supermarket partners, is to have

transparency and competition at the wholesale level.


“VACC wants to see a fair and reasonable wholesale price (TGP) available to

independent service station operators. Fair competition at wholesale, will lead to

greater competition at the pump and therefore lower prices for the consumer.


“Nevertheless, with the resources of the ACCC behind FuelWatch, and its ongoing

close attention to the behaviours of the participants, we trust that the ACCC will

ensure that any ‘dodges’ devised by the oil companies to work the system to their

advantage will be exposed and cut off.

 

“VACC will hold a watching brief on FuelWatch. The greater task for the Federal

Government and ACCC is to ensure a level playing field for petrol retailers at the

wholesale level. Then, and only then, can motorists be assured they are buying

petrol at a competitive and fair price,” Mr Purchase said.  


Ends


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