By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Monday, February 17, 2020
Updated: February 18, 2020 at 8:47 am
While RAA continues advocating for real-time fuel pricing to be introduced in South Australia to help reduce high living costs, some states have already implemented the system.
Fuel retailers in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory all need to report their prices to their respective state governments.
That info is then provided to motorists through a website or app, helping them find the cheapest place to fuel up.
However, not all these models are the same. Let’s take a trip around the country and see how each works.
WA was the first state to implement a fuel-price reporting scheme. In the 2000s, they made it mandatory for fuel retailers to submit their prices to the state government at 2pm each day.
This price needs to be in place at 6am the following day and remain the same for 24 hours.
RAA Motoring Expert Mark Borlace says this system was implemented when technology like smart phone apps weren’t available.
“Smart phones mean consumers are checking technology more frequently to find cheaper fuel,” Mr Borlace said.
“If the SA government chose to implement a Western Australian model, we’d recommend a mechanism allowing fuel retailers to lower prices within the set 24 hours, but not increase them.”
This would help maintain competition in the market, putting a downward pressure on prices.”
New South Wales
NSW’s Fuel Check scheme was introduced in 2016 and provides motorists with real-time information about fuel prices at service stations across the state.
It’s accessible on any device, including smartphones, tablets and computers.
To make sure motorists receive up-to-date information, service stations need to report their petrol prices to the state government whenever they’re changed.
A Griffith University study found this policy has resulted in prices dropping by 1.03 cents a litre in metropolitan Sydney.
The Queensland government is currently running a 2-year real-time fuel pricing trial based on the New South Wales model.
In Queensland, petrol stations need to report their prices to the state government every time they’re changed. However, the information is published by a range of commercial operators rather than a government-run database or app.
Queensland fuel savings
Queensland motorists saved this much during the real-time fuel pricing trial.
Initial data collected by RACQ found there are more cheap days in Brisbane’s fuel cycle.
RACQ has been monitoring fuel-pricing trends since the inception of the trial and found Queensland motorists have saved more than $120M. They’re now making a case for the trial to be permanent.
The Northern Territory fuel reporting scheme started in 2017.
Like the New South Wales and Queensland schemes, all fuel retailers need to report their petrol prices whenever they go up or down.
My Fuel NT publishes the fuel data in real time on their website and app, helping provide transparency.