Doug Shave

Doug Shave

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    Half a million fuel price checks in first week.

    10/01/2001 6:00 AM
     
    10/1/01

    More than half a million website and telephone fuel price checks have been made in the first week since new laws came into effect.

    “Western Australian motorists are taking full advantage of the access to fuel-price information which the new legislation provides,” Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave said.

    “The Petroleum Pricing Amendment Act created a FuelWatch taskforce in the Ministry of Fair Trading.

    “Since going live at 6pm on January 2, the FuelWatch website has received 515,000 hits from people seeking the cheapest notified fuel prices - a fantastic response.

    “In addition, the FuelWatch telephone line has had 1,600 calls for price information.”

    The new arrangements require retailers in the Perth metropolitan area and 24 country locations to notify FuelWatch of any proposed price changes the day before they change at the pump. This applies to standard unleaded, premium unleaded, lead replacement petrol (super), diesel, and LPG autogas.

    “It is early days but the huge demand from motorists for information shows the need for greater transparency in prices, better purchasing information, and for retailers to be aware of customers’ needs,” Mr Shave said.

    The new legislation makes it an offence for retailers to change their fuel retail prices without first notifying the Prices Commissioner. Penalties of up to $4,000 apply for an individual and $10,000 for a corporation for each separate offence.

    Motorists can contact FuelWatch on http://www.fuelwatch.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 55 08 08 for the cost of a local call to get tomorrow’s best notified fuel prices. A State-wide newspaper and radio campaign will start soon to provide ‘best buy’ and other FuelWatch information.

    The Minister said Prices Commissioner Patrick Walker and FuelWatch officers would shortly visit non-Perth areas to meet local fuel representatives, consumers and community leaders to discuss pricing issues in regional areas. The visits would be well publicised to allow maximum public input.

    Media contacts:
    John Clune (Minister’s Office) 9213 6500
    Mike Winchester (FuelWatch) 9282 0961