The ACT Government has introduced new laws banning petrol stations from displaying discounted fuel prices on boards. The laws have been brought in to protect ACT motorists from pricing confusion.
Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury said the change will help motorists make “informed choices about where they want to fill up”.
“We have ongoing concerns that some motorists are paying more at the bowser than they expected,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“Consumers should not be lured into petrol stations by cheap prices, which are conditional on having a docket or in-store purchase, and have the right to know exactly how much they are going to pay at the pump.”
The Consumer Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly last week.
The bill bans service stations from displaying discounted petrol prices on boards, including those that require a discount voucher or an in-store purchase, and requires retailers to change the price displayed on the board before changing the price display at the pump.
Service stations will have six months to make the changes once the laws come into effect. They will still be allowed to display and advertise a special discount offer, but won’t be permitted to list the dollar amount with these discounts applied on boards and displays.
Mr Rattenbury said some petrol stations in the ACT had already complied with the changes.
“Up to date information about price changes will mean that motorists should never pay more at the pump than the price advertised on the board,” he said.
“This is about creating greater transparency in the fuel market, and making it fairer for all motorists who are trying to find the best deal at the bowser. Motorists will be able to determine the real price quickly when driving past a fuel station.
“Depending on market fluctuations, petrol can be expensive in Canberra, making it all the more important that motorists can make informed choices about where they buy their fuel.”
Minister Rattenbury said the ACT had consulted with the industry, and the changes to petrol prices advertising would bring the Territory into line with discount price display bans already in place in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.