ARMIDALE fuel retailers have been given the all clear from allegations of price collusion but the consumer watchdog has admitted the city’s high fuel prices are concerning.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released the details of its investigation following initial concerns raised by the Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall and then taken up at a Federal level by the Nationals Senator for New South Wales John Williams.
The ACCC has told Mr. Marshall and Senator Williams that until the 20th of November last year one operator was responsible for determining the price for three sites which operate under one brand and another was responsible for pricing at two sites which operate under another brand.
This means only one or two sites are more likely to provide the opportunity for more competitive pricing offers.
The ACCC says it did not uncover evidence to suggest the comparatively higher price of fuel in Armidale is the result of collusion by retailers.
However, in acknowledging the Armidale prices at times are higher than expected, the ACCC may consider Armidale as a location for its third regional fuel market study this year.
Mr. Marshall said he accepts the ACCC had done a thorough investigation and while complaints from local motorists have been addressed, he hopes the ACCC does nominate Armidale for a case study to determine the underlying factors for the high prices.
Senator Williams commended Mr. Marshall for bringing it to his attention and he in turn had sought the ACCC’s investigation.