Govt backs down on fuel prices, says opposition

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has welcomed the state government’s climb-down on fuel price monitoring after months of campaigning by the Opposition and motoring groups.

FUEL PRICE MONITORING: Opposition leader Deb Frecklington says it is about time the government introduced monitoring.

FUEL PRICE MONITORING: Opposition leader Deb Frecklington says it is about time the government introduced monitoring.

The government has announced a two-year trial of fuel price monitoring after long opposing the move which was pushed by the LNP.

Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said a working group with industry stakeholders, including the RACQ, would be set up to oversee monitoring.

“While the primary responsibility for fuel pricing remains with the federal government and ACCC, the Palaszczuk government is prepared to do whatever it can to assist Queensland motorists,” he said.

Dr Lynham said the government had studied reports from Griffith University and the RACQ. Reports differed but the trial would ensure more data was available to motorists.

“All fuel retailers will be required to collate and publish their latest prices online, on their own websites and their own apps, within 15 minutes of any change,” he said.

“The system will be required to have in-built safeguards against retailers’ price fixing and not inflict unnecessary red tape.”

Ms Frecklington said price monitoring was the first policy approved by the LNP’s shadow cabinet.

“I have backed real-time fuel price monitoring since I became LNP Leader because I understand the financial pressures Queenslanders are facing,” Ms Frecklington said.

“...The Palaszczuk government has finally and grudgingly admitted it was totally wrong. If I were Premier, this decision would have been taken months ago.

“This decision has only been taken because of the pressure the LNP and motoring groups have applied to this government.”

Dr Lynham said the LNP proposal had surfaced only of late after years of inactivity, including when they were in government.

It was an expensive, airy-fairy scheme based on limited information whereas the government’s scheme was based on a university study of prices and monitoring schemes in NSW and the Northern Territory.

Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson said every motorist, truckie or business operator knew that fuel prices were too high.

“Fuel prices in this state are, on average, still three cents per litre higher than they are in other parts of the country,” he said.

In a speech to Parliament last month he said the ACCC report into the Brisbane market found that retailers achieved higher margins and profits owing to weak retail competition.

“Surely, this finding must have rung alarm bells for the government to spring into action and do something about it,” he said.

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