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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2456 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

I had to agree that if we establish temperature conversion in the ACT, it will be hard for the industry to resist demands from service station operators in the cooler areas of New South Wales, such as Queanbeyan, Cooma, Braidwood, Wagga and the east coast communities from Nowra to the Victoria border.

However, my view of this precedent is slightly different to that of the oil companies.

I believe that that their opposition is based on the fact that if they are forced to do the right thing here in Canberra, they may well be forced to do the right thing again in New South Wales and then the rest of the country.

I wish to remind Members that temperature conversion has no implementation cost as the figures required to make the conversion calculations are already readily available.

Mr Speaker, it is apparent that petrol retailing across the country is going through a process of great change.

Within that context, I accept that an attempt to negotiate an industry 0ilCode is already underway.

At present, fuel retailing in Australia is administered federally through two Acts, the Sites Act and Franchise Act.

There is a federal commitment to repeal these two Acts once agreement has been reached between all parties on an industry oil code, which would then be mandated under federal regulation.

0ilCode is to be a means of establishing a more flexible and responsive method of administering fuel sales across the country.

Depending on who you talk to, it is possible that a better method of addressing fuel losses which occur due to temperature variation than temperature conversion could be agreed upon after 0ilCode is in place.

Addressing fuel losses would not be specifically included in 0ilCode, however, once it was in place the way would be open for an informal industry-wide agreement to be negotiated and put in place.

If this happens, this legislation will no longer be necessary.

However, the future of 0ilCode has recently been put in grave doubt as at least two of the major players, the Motor Trades Association of Australia and a multi-party Senate Committee, have both gone cold on key aspects of the agreement.

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