All this to-ing and fro-ing about what the proposed FuelWatch system will do to petrol prices in the face of spiralling oil prices is just stupid. It’s come so far as to find Brendan Nelson moving a censure motion against Kevin Rudd because he will not guarantee that prices will not increase with this initiative (see New Limited story here).

I don’t see the point of such a system myself. Motorists have enough independently run sources with which to find the cheapest petrol (such as Motormouth, which I’ve talked about before), and based on the fact that these initiatives are being held off until the end of the year, it just seems a useless proposition unless acted upon now. Forcing service stations to fix their prices daily isn’t really going to be all that different from what we see now, I would think – so if anything I suggest that FuelWatch will be one of those vaguely peripheral policies that doesn’t really do much more than keep a casual eye on things and perhaps intervene if things go too out of hand.


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