Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2255..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
The government will be opposing the prohibition proposals in the bill and supporting the information disclosure provisions. We will be moving some amendments to enhance the effectiveness of the information disclosure provisions. I will also be moving two amendments in respect of proposed new section 11. From what I can gather, most members will not be supporting those two amendments.
We are opposing Mr Osborne's prohibition proposal, because we say it would be ineffectual and virtually impossible to enforce. I will speak to the amendments when we come to them. Suffice it for me to say at this stage that we think the first part of the bill, with the amendments we will move, will enhance the existing legislation. But we have serious problems with the second part. I will address those problems in the detail stage.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (10.11): The Labor Party will be supporting this legislation. As members know, Mr Osborne introduced the bill last week. The bill inserts new sections 10 and 11 into the act. Section 10 requires the supplier of a regulated transfer of fuel-that is, more than 2,000 litres-to give the recipient a statement showing the type of fuel consigned, its volume, the temperature at loading, the volume calculated as if the temperature were 15 degrees Centigrade and whether the load has been altered since its consignment.
I am advised that fuel delivery trucks are already being fitted with the necessary equipment to produce a statement of the information required by the proposed section 10. On the basis of that assurance, it is reasonable to suggest that nobody could assert that the requirements of proposed section 10 are onerous.
Proposed section 11 prevents the fuel supplier from levying a charge to the consignee for compliance with sections 8 or 10 of the act. The provision is obviously necessary as service station proprietors advise-I think this is the case, and we have no reason to disbelieve it-that fuel suppliers are levying a charge of up to half a cent a litre for compliance, which quite clearly is not within the intent of the act. The concerns expressed by the Attorney appear to us to be unfounded. On that basis, the Labor Party will support the bill and will oppose the foreshadowed amendments.
MR OSBORNE (10.12), in reply: I thank members for their support. I will go over a brief history of this legislation again. As Mr Stanhope indicated, the fuel is loaded in Sydney at a certain temperature, and by the time it hits Canberra the colder temperature has decreased the volume. Over the years the oil companies have charged the franchisees in the ACT, but not their own outlets, for the amount of fuel that was loaded in Sydney, not the amount of fuel that actually arrived in Canberra. It was costing some service stations franchisees between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, which obviously was added on to the cost of fuel for the consumer.
When legislation was passed unanimously last year, it took a long time for the nuts and bolts to be worked out and the correct instrumentation to become available. That is now there. But since then the oil companies have added a fee for compliance with this legislation, only to the franchisee stations here in the ACT, not their own company sites. Quite clearly, as Mr Stanhope said, that was against the intent of the original legislation. My bill fixes it. I thank members for their support.