Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1707 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

Obviously, the volume of fuel will shrink in that example by about 3 per cent. When fuel is loaded in Sydney, the volume of the delivery is adjusted by the oil company to what it would be if it was 15 degrees Celsius for the purpose of paying federal excise. This is done quite simply by a gadget attached to the loading hose that does all the calculations.

Despite getting the benefit of only paying excise on a temperature corrected volume of fuel, the oil companies used to charge our service stations for every litre loaded. In the example given, the oil company would have paid excise on between 1 and 2 per cent less fuel than was loaded, while the service station would have had about 3 per cent less litres to sell than they had bought.

While this differential is much larger in winter than it is in summer because of our cooler climate, the ACT is the only jurisdiction in Australia where the service station loses out all year round. Over the course of a year, the difference is worth about 1c per litre-a cost that someone has to pay. With so few franchisees compared to retail outlets owned and operated by the oil companies, franchisees have long been disadvantaged if they attempt to pass on the costs of the phantom litres.

Mr Speaker, the legislation already passed by the Assembly has levelled the playing field. All wholesale transfers of fuel must now be temperature corrected to 15 degrees Celsius. Not only is this the benchmark that oil companies use when paying federal excise, it is also the process used when buying fuel supplies off each other.

The act has already been effective as, for the first time, service stations have been fairly compensated for their fuel losses. Documentation I have seen from one service station proves that. In fact, so effective has the act been that there are now moves under way to establish temperature correction in New South Wales and Victoria.

However, there has been a small glitch. Documents I have seen from a number of service stations show that some oil companies are not providing clear enough information on their delivery dockets and, far worse, are applying an additional charge for the privilege of their compliance with the law. Such a charge is unscrupulous, especially as the same charge is not being applied by the oil companies to fuel delivered to their own service stations.

While this latter situation has been referred to our Independent Pricing Commissioner and the ACCC for their investigation, this bill addresses these two main points, and I commend it to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .