Consumer Protection Minister Sheila McHale has branded attacks on Western Australia’s FuelWatch system as misplaced.
She said FuelWatch data showed that Perth generally had the lowest retail margins in the nation since 2003.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s comprehensive six-month review independently analysed this assessment and came to the same conclusion.
The Minister said WA motorists were saving close to two cents per litre (cpl) at the bowsers, which represented an annual saving to WA motorists of $32million.
“WA motorists have been able to benefit from petrol price transparency and certainty in the fuel marketplace during FuelWatch’s seven-year history,” she said.
“Under the FuelWatch scheme, WA motorists have not had to suffer the frustrations of same day price cycles, which results in price changes during the day in other States.
“The combination of price transparency, certainty and consumer knowledge helps drive the competitive Perth fuel market.
“There is no evidence that directly links the profitability of small businesses to the FuelWatch system although there are varying views among operators as to the monitoring system.”
Ms McHale said in general terms, the independent chains had consistently been the most price competitive operators in the Perth retail market.
“There has been no change to the proportion of independent operators since the introduction of FuelWatch,” the Minister said.
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