The ACCC and their warnings to petrol companies

Are warnings such as the one issued by Graeme Samuel with Easter approaching of any use? Or should the Federal Government act in conjunction to make these warnings more than just mere words?See the Sydney Morning’s story here.

I’d suggest that the latter would be the most tangible evidence that there is a concentrated effort to keep the petrol companies honest. Of course, it’s probably hard to legislate that petrol prices remain within a fixed figure of the Singapore benchmark, but it’s probably possible that something that amounts to more than just naming and shaming should be done, such as stating that petrol prices can only be changed once per week if necessary. One such service station that follows this convention is the Caltex Depot on Castlereagh Rd, Penrith, which changes its prices only on Wednesdays, and hardly ever more than 1 or 2 cents each 7 days. It often prompts stations within a few hundred metres to adjust their prices and become a bit fairer.

Such a policy would result in far greater consistency, and foster trust in petrol companies as opposed to the uncertainty of not knowing whether prices will be jacked up unfairly during holiday seasons. Perhaps the Petrol Commissioner would be wise to consider this as a possible solution to the lottery of petrol pricing.

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