Concern surrounding Canberra’s petrol prices has prompted action from the ACT Government with plans to commission two separate inquiries.
The government will move to establish a Select Committee of the Assembly to inquire into how fuel prices are determined in the ACT, the impact of rising fuel prices on Canberra drivers, and regulatory and legislative solutions that could have a real effect on fuel prices.
The government has also tasked the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to conduct a factual analysis of fuel price factors and market competition in parallel to the committee inquiry.
The government is seeking a greater understanding of the market issues that are leading to higher fuel prices in the ACT, and what measures could be put in place to force more competitive pricing. There is the potential for representatives from fuel providers to be asked to give evidence during public hearings of the select committee.
The select committee will provide their final report to the Assembly in June 2019. The ICRC analysis is expected to take a similar timeframe to complete, allowing the government to consider both reports in developing a response that it is hoped will actually make a difference for Canberra drivers.
The announcement comes as the ACT Government will this month ban stations from displaying discounted prices on fuel boards.
“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,” Minister for Consumer Affairs Shane Rattenbury said.
Goorooyarroo closed for rabbit and hare control
The Gungahlin district’s Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve will be closed to the public as rabbits and hares are removed as part of the expansion of the Mulligans Flat woodland sanctuary.
The 801 hectare sanctuary extension, which includes Goorooyarroo and the Throsby offset area, is closed to the public from midnight on Tuesday 12 February to 9am on Friday 1 March.
ACT Parks and Conservation Director, Daniel Iglesias, said the closure includes the entire Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve, and strongly encouraged the public to not access the reserve in this time.
“This control program follows on from the successful work done in the original sanctuary. This program was so successful that no rabbits or hares have been seen or reported in the sanctuary since September 2016,” he said.
During the closure, rabbit and hare populations within the area will be managed through various techniques including 1080 poison baiting, harbour removal and shooting, to be carried out by Parks and Conservation rangers.
Work began to triple the size of Mulligans Flat sanctuary in mid-2017 under a joint project with the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, ACT Government and Commonwealth Government.
“The larger sanctuary will provide greater protection for larger populations of reintroduced species,” Mr Iglesias said, such as the Eastern Bettong, Eastern Quoll and Bush-Stone Curlew.
“It will also be a great asset to the community. There will be new tracks and signage installed, more research programs, new species returned and a new visitor and learning centre.”