Consultation on new fuel-price board laws in Queensland

On February 26, the Queensland Government formally began consultation on a proposal to introduce new laws governing the operation of fuel-price boards across the state.

In making the announcement, Queensland Energy Minister Mark Bailey announced the proposed laws would seek to ban the display of discounted prices on fuel-price boards.

“Under our proposed reforms, fuel retailers will still be able to offer and promote discount fuel-price schemes, just as long as the full prices available to all motorists are displayed,” he said.

The main elements of the proposed laws include:

  • A ban on the display of conditionally discounted prices on fuel-price boards, such as those that require a discount voucher or an in-store purchase.
  • The coordination of prices changes so motorists never pay more at the pump than the price advertised on the board.

Mr Bailey says the Government is committed to regulatory reform of fuel-price boards following the Fuel Price Summit in 2016 and support for the change expressed by key stakeholders such as Royal Automobile Club of Queensland.

“Consensus at the summit was that the regulatory model in place in South Australia and Victoria is the preferred approach,” he said.

The Government’s aim is to finalise the new laws by the end of June 2017 with a view to them formally taking effect from January 1, 2018. This timing will give affected fuel retailers six months to make any necessary changes.

ACAPMA has done a preliminary review of the new legislation and will make a formal submission to the consultation before the closing date of May 29, 2017.

“No-one likes new laws that bring increased costs,” ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie said, “but it is good to see that the Queensland Government has adopted a balanced approach that seeks to minimise costs to industry while also satisfying the goal of peak consumer groups to remove the risk of consumer confusion”.

“These new laws appear to be wholly aligned with the laws that operate in South Australia and Victoria – as opposed to the onerous laws that operate in NSW – and this is a very welcome aspect of the proposed legislation.”

Details of the consultative process, including a full copy of the draft regulation, can be downloaded here.

ACAPMA is interested in hearing from any fuel-retail businesses that have concerns about the proposed regulation on or before May 22, 2017, so that these issues can be considered for inclusion in the association’s formal submission.

For more information, contact ACAPMA on 1300 160 270 or email markm@acapma.com.au.

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