We've got your back at the bowser
While the many years we’ve spent lobbying for fairer fuel prices have finally paid off, our mission to ensure Tasmanians aren’t being ripped off at the bowser will continue for some time.
After years of campaigning, we were pleased to see the Tasmanian Government implement a real-time fuel price reporting code of practice in September 2020. This scheme makes it compulsory for retailers to post their prices on a website and smart phone app.
The aim of this is to deter retailers from unfairly overcharging motorists for their fuel through greater transparency, accountability and competition.
Since the new scheme began, we’ve seen some notable reductions in the amount of money motorists are being overcharged for unleaded fuel, with some modest decreases for diesel. However, these have not been sustained, meaning we’re still finding people are being significantly ripped off at the bowser.
This is why we can’t take our foot off the pedal. In order to keep the pressure on both retailers and the government, we have refreshed our RACT Fuel Policy.
We want to see the government, alongside the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, regularly monitor and enforce retailer compliance with the scheme, with penalties for failing to report accurate prices. Funding for this scheme must also be provided in future State Budgets, in order to continue delivering the app and website.
What we pay at the pump
At the time of writing, it has been seven weeks since the scheme came into effect. Tasmanians paid $470,000 more than they should have for unleaded fuel compared to $670,000 in the seven weeks before the scheme began. This is a notable saving for motorists of $200,000.
Tasmanians paid $2.6 million more than they should have for diesel. In the seven weeks since the scheme, that figure has increased to $2.9 million. This is a cost increase for motorists of $300,000.
However, should retailers continue to charge unfairly high prices, the government should introduce fuel price capping legislation. This option is something the government has said it will explore.
While we certainly hope that real-time fuel pricing addresses the issue of high prices in our state, we agree that we need to remain vigilant to ensure we see real outcomes for motorists.
What are we doing?
Clearly, there's still a long way to go and we encourage motorists to use fuel price information to their advantage.
Keep an eye out for the RACT fuel app, which will be launching soon to help motorists find the cheapest fuel prices near them.
Rest assured, if we don’t see continued and sustained price reductions, we will take further action.