Australian service stations should be forced to publish their fuel prices for consumers in real time, a leading motoring association says.
Only service stations in NSW are required to publish their current fuel prices, after the National Roads and Motorists’ Association successfully lobbied the state government.
The prices are published on the state government’s website and the motoring group’s mobile phone app, which has been downloaded close to 840,000 times since its launch in May.
“We think it should be national,” NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury told AAP on Monday.
“There’s not much we can do about OPEC cutting oil production, or Saudi Arabia going to war with Yemen, or Russia and Iran getting slapped with sanctions.
“So we have to look for local solutions.”
The cost of petrol has been rising across the nation, with prices in Melbourne hitting a 10-year high last month, and Adelaide motorists forking out an average of $1.67 a litre as of Monday.
Drivers in NSW are able to save up to $800 per year from their bowser bills by finding the best prices, Mr Khoury says.
Queensland and South Australia have expressed interest in trialling a similar scheme.
“The oil companies were sharing this data among themselves anyway, we just wanted it to become available to the public,” he said.
His comments come after Prime Minister Scott Morrison put the competition watchdog on notice over rising fuel prices.
“I want some answers out of the ACCC,” Mr Morrison told K Rock 95.5 on Monday.
“They’re the cop on the beat, they’re the ones we fund to go out there and monitor why prices are moving up and down and how they’re timed.”
The prime minister concedes some factors, such as the international cost of oil, are out of the local market’s control, but said the ACCC had powers to investigate if consumers were being hard done by.
“What we can ensure is the people who are selling it here behave,” he said.
“I’m expecting some action.”
As treasurer last December, Mr Morrison directed the ACCC to monitor prices, costs and profits relating to petroleum products and services in Australia over two years.