It is all about information. Under the government’s new scheme,
PETROL stations will have to reveal their fuel prices up to 24 hours in advance and commuters will be able to find out the prices for their local area by signing up to an email or SMS alert.
Hopefully, it will be on the web too as per my recommendation to the ACCC. A simple integration into Google maps and you can see all the petrol prices on your commute.
This is one area where the ACCC did its homework. Its econometric analysis of the scheme in WA revealed a fall in petrol prices and an elimination of the weekly petrol price cycle — something that was likely to be inefficient for consumers and the industry. Also, petrol stations are already collecting and providing this data to private sources and so the compliance costs are surely minimal. What is terrific here is that a policy was enacted in a part of Australia, evaluated and then rolled out as it was determined it did its job. Now we only have to get politicians interested in pilots and trials as a matter of course and we will be laughing.