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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2257 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

downstream, that cost has been reasonably and legitimately passed on, to the extent that savings have been accruing to independents and franchisees because of the new way of doing business.

I have been advised that it is a futile exercise attempting to prohibit all companies passing on their costs, as they are free to pass on Mr Osborne's prohibited costs in non-transparent ways.

I have also been advised that the proposed amendments will impose additional costs on government in attempting to monitor this type of pricing regime. It would be almost impossible for the Office of Fair Trading to monitor enforcement of this legislation without having access to the oil companies' and service station operators' business records, an objective the ACCC has been attempting to achieve for many years, without much success.

We are really concerned. I understand what Mr Osborne is trying to do. I am sorry that in the short time this bill has been on the table we have not been able to come up with a sure-fire way of ensuring that what he is trying to do can be achieved. For that reason, we cannot support the proposed new section 11. Hence my amendment No 1 and amendment No 5, which is consequential on amendment No 1.

MR OSBORNE (10.19): I was not going to speak, Mr Speaker, but I think I need to vote against this amendment.

I fully expect the oil companies to attempt something sneaky again, but I do not think that should be an excuse for us not to try to stay one step in front of them. As to the issue of enforcement, I have no doubt that should the oil companies overstep the mark there will be any number of unpaid officers working for you out there more than willing to let you know, as they let me know and other member in the place know, of the actions of the oil companies.

Amendment negatived.

Clause 4 agreed to.

Clause 5.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (10.20): Mr Speaker, I move amendment No 2 circulated in my name [see schedule 3 at page 2281].

This amendment amends proposed new subsection 10 (2). Mr Osborne's amendment does not take into account situations where there are split deliveries of fuel between service stations by the one tanker. When this happens, the volume of fuel purchased is unknown until after delivery of the fuel. Accordingly, it is impossible for the oil company at the time of delivery of the fuel to provide an invoice with the information required by Mr Osborne's new section.

My amendment will accommodate this type of situation by allowing for the provision of the statement or invoice at either the time of delivery or as soon as practicable after the delivery of the fuel.

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