To prevent confusion at petrol bowsers, the Queensland Government is proposing a ban on displaying conditionally discounted prices on fuel price boards—that is, those prices that are only available to motorists who have a discount voucher, make an in-store purchase or similar.
We are concerned that motorists may be confused about the price of fuel displayed on complex fuel price boards, given their limited opportunity to compare the displayed information with the price available at the bowser.
The ban would take effect through reforms to fair trading legislation.
Under the proposed model, all fuel retailers must show only the full price of fuel available to all motorists, instead of displaying potentially misleading or confusing prices.
The regulation would also require fuel retailers to coordinate price changes on fuel price boards and fuel pumps, so when prices do change, motorists don’t pay more than displayed on the fuel price board.
Fuel retailers will still be able to offer and promote discount fuel price schemes, as long as only the full undiscounted price is displayed on the fuel price board.
The proposed start date for the change is 1 January 2018.
The proposed regulation (the Fair Trading (Fuel Price Board) Regulation 2017) will apply in addition to existing requirements under the Australian Consumer Law. The regulation’s based on existing laws in South Australia and Victoria.
The main elements of the proposed regulation:
A breach of clauses 3, 4 or 5 would be subject to a maximum fine of $2,438 (20 penalty units) for individuals and $12,190 (100 penalty units) for a corporation.
Written submissions on the proposed regulation are welcome. Please provide comments and feedback and indicate if you support the draft regulation.
Any evidence or research to support your feedback, including costs and benefits to motorists and industry would be helpful. It is important we achieve the right balance of consumer protection and avoiding regulatory costs that could unintentionally push petrol prices up.
This consultation is not about fuel prices. For information about fuel prices please read Buying fuel.
Please send your submissions about the proposed fuel price board regulation to:
Fuel Price Boards Consultation
Governance and Engagement, Energy Division
Department of Energy and Water Supply
PO Box 15456
CITY EAST QLD 4002
Submissions close at 5 pm on Monday, 29 May 2017.
All submissions will be acknowledged and considered; we will only contact you if we require more information.