NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has welcomed the increased scrutiny which will be brought to bear on Armidale’s fuel retailers, following an announcement today by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that the city has been selected as the watchdog’s third regional fuel price market study and ‘deep dives’.
“I welcome this announcement by the ACCC – it is long overdue but is very good news,” Mr Marshall said.
“Armidale motorists have been ripped off at the bowser by unscrupulous local fuel retailers for far too long.
“As I have repeatedly said in Parliament and in public, I am in no doubt that local retailers are engaging in price gouging – there is no other explanation for why fuel is so much more expensive in Armidale than almost any other centre in rural and regional NSW.”
Mr Marshall said that due to a concerted community campaign and the intervention of Senator John Williams, the ACCC was eventually forced to conduct an investigation late last year and early this year.
“While the investigation didn’t yield any proof of cartel practices by retailers, it did acknowledge the consistently high prices relative to other parts of the State,” he said.
“Not finding evidence doesn’t mean it’s not happening though and I sincerely hope the extra scrutiny placed on retailers in Armidale will see local motorists finally given a fair go at the bowser.
“Fuel is still much cheaper at every other centre in our region, even small outlets like Black Mountain, Invergowrie and Delungra.
“I’m glad our lobbying for Armidale to be included as one the three regional market studies has been successful and I and the local community will continue to watch