Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 836 ..
gone up more in other cities. But if they are consistently above the Australian average for a prolonged period that would be the trigger for the government to utilise the legislation that we have available to us.
MS LEE: Chief Minister, what do you consider to be a prolonged period of time, and why has your government not implemented all five recommendations of the 2019 Legislative Assembly’s select committee inquiry into why Canberrans are continuously and consistently charged more for petrol?
MR BARR: Since the government’s intervention last year, the latter part of Ms Lee’s statement is just not correct. I am just doing a quick check now. At the moment, in Sydney it is 158.3c a litre for unleaded; in Canberra the average is 138.1c. So it is about 20c a litre cheaper in Canberra today according to one of the available apps doing live monitoring of petrol prices.
A prolonged period would be months consistently above the Australian average, noting that we get weekly price reports on which we base our decisions and our engagement with the industry. If I saw four or five weeks in a row where we were significantly above the Australian average, that would be a trigger. If it is 1c a litre above the Australian average, that is not a trigger. But significantly above—by that I mean 10c or 15c above—would clearly be a trigger, particularly if that was prolonged. That is what we were seeing prior to the government’s intervention last year.
In relation to the recommendations of the committee, the government responded to those. Some have been delayed because of COVID, but we will continue to monitor prices, as we do every week, with a report that is available on Monday afternoon on the Australian Institute of Petroleum website. They publish it weekly; it gives the data for all capital cities, all states and territories across Australia. That is the basis on which we have been assessing where prices are at. Fortunately, since the government’s intervention, prices in Canberra have generally been below the Australian average, and more often than not significantly below Sydney and Melbourne.
MR CAIN: Chief Minister, will your government introduce a real-time and mandatory price monitoring system similar to that of other states? If not, why not?
MR BARR: NSW FuelCheck is a possibility for real-time monitoring in that there is an app available. That is one way. At the moment, we can also go to Petrol Spy and MotorMouth. That is where I have been getting the data from. That is live and available. The question really is around it being mandatory and how often in a day you would require petrol retailers to update their prices.
Ultimately, though, we need to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and, in fact, on internal combustion engine vehicles. That is why the government is particularly focused on the shift away from petrol to electric-powered transportation. That is the direction of policy; that is the direction in the motor vehicle industry globally. Australia does not manufacture cars, so we will get what we are given by the rest of the world. The world’s manufacturers are moving and moving quickly. Some will no longer produce petrol engine cars by 2025, others by 2030. Fortunately, at some point