New rate-board laws in Victoria

New laws governing the operation of fuel price boards at fuel retail outlets in Victoria came into force on November 30. 

It is now illegal for fuel retailers in the state to post discounted prices on their price boards.

“Put simply, this means that the prices displayed for all fuel products on a price board should be the prices that all customers can access – regardless of whether they hold a supermarket discount voucher or the like,” ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie said.

The Victorian Government consulted with industry earlier this year and subsequently passed new regulations in March this year, effectively providing the industry with more than six months’ notice to transition to the new laws.

The law doesn’t mean fuel retailers cannot continue to promote discount coupons, but merely requires that such promotions be separate from the fuel prices displayed on the price boards.

“Retailers wishing to continue to promote discount coupons can do so via the placement of advertising tiles elsewhere on the price board,” Mr McKenzie said.

Unlike in NSW, the new laws do not require fuel retailers to install a rate board (where one does not exist) and nor do they stipulate the order of product price placement on the board.

“It is understood that the laws were introduced to address concerns about possible motorist confusion arising from the display of discounted and undiscounted prices, but the Victorian Government has taken industry input on board and sought to minimise the compliance burden for fuel retailers,” Mr McKenzie said.

The laws make provision for a $3,033 fine for each rate board found to be in breach of the new laws. Further information about the new laws can be found here and a copy of the new laws can be downloaded here.

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