Thousands of South Australian motorists across the weekend were expected to download new real fuel pricing apps in a bid to locate their nearest cheapest fuel prices.
The long-awaited initiative, announced on Friday, comes as new laws were introduced to state parliament in May 2020, ensuring fuel retailers report prices within 30 minutes of a change.
The laws are in response to findings from the South Australian Productivity Commission, with a report revealing the presence of real-time pricing data helped consumers find low-cost fuel.
The state government-led scheme will run as a trial for two years.
According to Attorney-General Vickie Chapman, all petrol retailers must submit their prices to an aggregator, with the data then available for app developers to use.
“Any change in price must be updated within half an hour, or the retailer risks facing a hefty fine,” Ms Chapman said.
“This will ensure motorists are better informed, helping to deliver cost of living relief to households right across the state. The Productivity Commission estimates that access to real-time fuel pricing information will save motorists more than $3 million a year,” she explained.
Service stations that fail to comply could face penalties ranging from a $550 expiation fee to a maximum penalty of $10,000.
Any change in price must be updated within half an hour, or the retailer risks facing a hefty fine.
Attorney-General Vickie Chapman
Consumer and Business Services commissioner Dini Soulio said his team will be closely monitoring retailers to ensure they are complying with the new laws.
“In the lead-up to the launch of this scheme, my staff worked closely with retailers to ensure they understand their responsibility,” the commissioner said.
In addition, a tender process for a data validation service has begun to ensure accuracy and validity of fuel prices.
RAA’s motoring expert Mark Borlace said this scheme will be particularly beneficial to motorists near the end of a petrol price cycle.
“Prices tend to jump around and differ greatly at the end of a cycle, so this scheme will help motorists find the cheapest price,” Mr Borlace said.
“The RAA is using this aggregated data to inform its app, which is free for all South Australians. It will allow motorists to search for the best price, and map their route to get the best deal, every day.”
For more details, including apps that are now available and sourcing real-time data from South Australia, as well as details on how to report service stations that have not updated their information – can be found at www.sa.gov.au/fuelprices.
Extracted from Port Lincoln Times