ACCC to keep a closer eye on fuel industry and pricing

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt has called the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission a toothless tiger for inaction to keep petrol prices fair.

Even Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson, who holds the ACCC portfolio, agreed more needed to be done.

He said competitive pressures alone were not enough to ensure fair pricing.

The ACCC will increase their scrutiny on the fuel duopoly and wider industry pricing, and will produce quarterly reports.

"Countless Hinkler constituents have contacted my office recently to complain. Retail fuel prices have only been reduced by a few cents locally, despite the cost of Brent crude oil dropping by 40% since June," Mr Pitt said.

"It's highway robbery."

Residents have said they're tired of the ACCC suggesting they simply shop around for the fairest deal.

"This is not possible in regional Queensland locations - the region's many petrol stations are controlled by only a small handful of players."

He said petrol retailers were enjoying profit margins double the historic average, despite the price of oil plummeting to a four-year low.

Mr Pitt said he feared the cost of petrol was at the expense of local industries of cane farming, horticulture, tourism and fishing.

"I acknowledge that the Government has no ability to control what private businesses charge for their products and services, but the ACCC does have an obligation to protect consumers from unfair commercial practices," he said.



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