Tasmania releases draft fuel-price-board laws

The Tasmanian Government last week circulated the draft legislation that will be used to enforce new fuel-price-board laws in the state.

The draft legislation – Australian Consumer Law (Tasmania) Code of Practice for Fuel Price Boards 2017 – is aimed at improving fuel-price transparency for Tasmanian motorists, along with a grant of $60,000 to the Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania (RACT) to work in partnership with GasBuddy to develop a free mobile price app for all Tasmanians.

ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie says a preliminary examination of the draft legislation suggests it is almost entirely modelled on the existing laws in South Australia and Victoria, which prohibit the display of discounted fuel prices.

“As with South Australia and Victoria, fuel retailers will still be permitted to advertise on the main price board (ie, via advertising tiles) that they offer discounts, but the price shown for all products must be the undiscounted price,” he said.

“Thankfully, the Tasmanian Government has not elected to adopt the onerous laws that operate in NSW, which require the prices of specific fuel prices to be displayed in a prescribed order.”

When considered in conjunction with similar laws being considered for introduction in both Queensland and the Northern Territory, it appears that most Australian state/territory governments are pursuing a defacto national code of practice for the operation of fuel-price boards that prohibits the display of discounted fuel prices.

ACAPMA says it understands that stakeholder consultation on the new laws will close later this month, with a view to the legislation being finalised during the next few months.

“The date of implementation for the new laws is currently unclear, but ACAPMA will be advocating that the industry be given a minimum of six months’ notice from the finalisation of the legislation to the point at which it takes practical effect in the market,” Mr McKenzie said.

ACAPMA is preparing a formal submission regarding the legislation and encourages any members who have concerns about it to contact the ACAPMA Secretariat on 1300 160 270 or email markm@acapma.com.au before COB on Thursday, May 18 2017.

This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared on the ACAPMA website.

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