AAA Welcomes Government Decision on Petrol Prices


AAA today welcomed the Government’s decision directing the ACCC to monitor prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of unleaded petroleum products in the petroleum industry.


AAA’s Executive Director, Mike Harris, said that this direction was precisely what AAA had been calling for in its submission to the ACCC Inquiry.


In commenting on the report, Mr Harris said that the ACCC report was extremely comprehensive – saying it would assist the AAA motoring club members to better understand the complexity of the market and that there are no simple solutions to lowering petrol prices.


Mr Harris also welcomed the Government’s decision to appoint a Petrol Price Commissioner.


“We would expect that this appointment will result in obstacles to effective competition being removed and provide greater transparency in the market place,” he said.


“We note that the ACCC recommended that further research be undertaken in respect of a number of impediments to the efficient and competitive working of the petroleum market, at all levels of the marketing chain. In particular, we note that further research has been recommended in a number of areas.”


Mr Harris acknowledged the ACCC’s comments about the Western Australian pricing model and, like the Commission, expressed some reservations about its introduction.


“We will explore the costs and benefits of such a scheme with our members - AAA would be more than happy to assist the government with research on these matters,” Mr Harris said.


“In fact, AAA has been undertaking significant monitoring of motorists’ attitudes and priorities including petrol issues over many years.


“While we need more time to digest the full ramifications of a very detailed report, we note the ACCC comments that the general emergence of supermarket shopper docket arrangements has not had an anti-competitive effect, but has delivered discounts to the benefit of consumers and promoted competition from other retailers.”

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