Proposal to ease bowser pain
THE petrol price war is heating up at the pump, with the NSW Government set to launch a new app in line with new laws requiring all service station owners to provide details of any change in petrol prices within minutes, so they can be posted online.
Under a plan devised by NSW Better Regulation Minister Victor Dominello, due to be brought in this month, the fuel prices would be fed into an app so motorists can see where to buy the cheapest petrol in real time.
Speaking at an AIIA innovation briefing on Friday, Mr Dominello said he intended to make all of the state’s 2000 service stations keep the NSW Government up to date with price movements.
“In the past the oil companies would have all the data but wouldn’t share it with the consumer. Now we are going to empower consumers by giving them the same information the marketplace has,” he said.
“You’ll be able to open up the map and check where the cheapest price is.”
He said it was ridiculous consumers could access petrol station maps on their smartphones, but not prices at those sites.
While prices have dropped considerably in regional centres in recent times, debate continues to rage in the Tweed where discrepancies in pump prices exist from town to town.
Throughout last week, prices at stations on Minjungbal Dr, Tweed Heads, maintained a price in the vicinity of 93 c/l for E10 and 95.5 c/l for regular unleaded.
But residents at Murwillumbah on Tuesday, were being charged an unleaded price of 112.9 c/l at the BP service station, a whopping 17.4 cents more per litre than up north.
Chinderah resident Cecilia Perry finds petrol prices definitely differ depending on where she buys her fuel on the Tweed.
She said it was wrong for prices to vary at all in areas of such close proximity.
“They should all be on the same level,” she said.
“It’s not right to drive five minutes up the road and find it cheaper.”
NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) CEO Tracey Howe said the app should help ease the pressure on struggling families.
“This is a great initiative from the NSW Government that will have a real impact in terms of easing cost of living pressures,” Ms Howe said.
“Until recently, petrol prices were going through the roof and while there has been some easing over the past few months due to changes in the global price of oil, the cost of petrol at the pump is still not as low as it should be.
“Having access to petrol prices in real time will empower motorists to make the best possible choice for their family and their budget.”
The app, which is currently being designed, is expected to become available mid-year.