Page 2431 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022
A simple FuelCheck app, such as the approach taken just over the border in New South Wales, is a quick and proven way to improve this. A FuelCheck app for the ACT will show road users the price of fuel at all registered retail fuel providers across the ACT. This would provide ACT residents with choice, transparency and visibility. It would stimulate competition and empower the consumer to make informed decisions on fuel prices.
The committee inquiry into ACT fuel prices heard consistent evidence that one of the reasons fuel prices can be so much higher in Canberra is that it is more difficult to see the prices in the ACT. The industry believes that, now more than ever, a fuel price app is necessary for the Canberra market. The NRMA, in April, called for the ACT to introduce a government-mandated fuel price monitoring app. This differs from one of those private websites that you have referred to.
We know that Canberra motorists are in the dark on prices and that, in times of volatile pricing like we are in now, transparency is needed more now than ever. After 21 years of inaction by the government on well-known issues like this, Canberrans deserve better. Canberrans deserve government services which treat them as valued customers and give them the tools that they need to make good decisions.
It is really important that governments embrace innovation that makes people’s lives better. Reducing the cost of fuel for Canberra families through a simple app would be a positive, low cost, low burden way to do that. New South Wales has done it and it makes a difference. Mr Assistant Speaker, is it really that unreasonable to give Canberrans the information they need to find and chose the best value provider for the fuel they need? I commend Mr Cain’s original motion to the Assembly.
MR CAIN (Ginninderra) (4.10): It seems that there are similar sentiments being expressed here on both sides of the chamber. Canberrans are feeling the pressure of the cost of living. Fuel prices are a significant part of their cost-of-living expenses. And the fuel that is used in the majority of vehicles will stay that way for some time.
But I will just make a few comments. I really cannot accept the Chief Minister’s amendments as they are presented to us today. We heard some statements about the prohibitive cost of creating a standalone fuel monitoring scheme. We heard as well that the Chief Minister has been engaged with the New South Wales government on a possible extension of their FuelCheck app. But can I point out that this has all been happening since 2019!
The government was given a recommendation by a select committee to improve fuel price transparency in the territory in 2019. And I do wonder: when was this last letter to the New South Wales government written by the Chief Minister? How serious are they really about innovating for the sake of Canberrans, in particular to take the pressure off them from fuel prices and to give them more transparent information on the price of fuel?
Government members interjecting—
I do note that there is a call on the commonwealth government to adopt the Euro VI standards. But, again, we are talking about what the ACT could actually have done