Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 4 August 2022) . . Page.. 2424 ..
not already noticed, we are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, and the budget does not provide assurance to the Canberra Liberals or many Canberrans that their territory government is using levers and actions within its control to improve these pressures for so many ACT residents. A FuelCheck app is one such lever.
If the Labor-Greens government want to get serious about supporting the cost of living crisis, I would encourage them to support my motion—and I will speak to the Chief Minister’s amendment later—and get on with providing real-time solutions to real-time problems. I commend my motion to the Assembly.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (3.44): I thank Mr Cain for his motion. I move the amendment circulated in my name:
Omit all text after “That this Assembly”, substitute:
“(1) notes that:
(a) over recent months fuel prices have significantly increased across Australia, including in Canberra;
(b) the price of fuel impacts many Australians’ cost of living, including Canberra road users;
(c) historically, Canberra has unfairly experienced higher fuel prices compared to other metropolitan markets and many regions of NSW;
(d) in 2019, the Chief Minister proposed, and the Assembly supported, the establishment of a Select Committee on Fuel Pricing to combat high fuel prices in Canberra that were not seen elsewhere. The Committee recommended the ACT Government investigate the feasibility of extending the NSW FuelCheck scheme to the ACT;
(e) in 2020, the Chief Minister twice wrote to every major fuel operating retailer in the ACT, outlining the ACT Government’s concerns that retailer margins were unnecessarily high, and indicating the Government was considering using powers under the Fair Trading (Fuel Prices) Act 1991 to introduce price regulation, if these concerns were not addressed;
(i) since then, ACT prices have mostly been in line with the national metropolitan average price; and
(ii) however, in light of a recent trend divergence between the national metropolitan price average and ACT price average, I have again written to retailers reminding them of their pricing policy obligations to the Canberra community;
(f) there is already a high degree of retail fuel price transparency in the ACT, available via free, publicly-accessible apps such as MotorMouth and Petrol Spy, and associated fuel price monitoring by the ACT Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission; and
(g) given the prohibitive cost of creating a stand-alone fuel monitoring scheme in a small jurisdiction, the ACT Government is continuing to actively work with the NSW Government to explore the possible extension of the mandatory NSW FuelCheck scheme to the ACT;