Fuel price watch

South Australia’s consumer watchdog Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is stepping up petrol station spot inspections as part of a wider compliance crackdown in coming months.

Consumer and Business Affairs Minister Andrea Michaels said there were still too many petrol station operators not complying with real-time petrol pricing, which was seen by the government as a critical area for enforcement over the remainder of the year.

In SA all fuel retailers are required to report prices to a central database as close in time as possible to the price changing at the pump, but not more than 30 minutes after. Drivers can then access fuel price information via apps.

Since the start of the fuel pricing information scheme in March 2021, CBS has conducted approximately 780 inspections of petrol stations and received more than 790 complaints about potential breaches of the Scheme. Approximately 150 complaints and inspections have resulted in warning letters and CBS has issued seven fines.

In efforts to stamp out petrol price gouging, station operators face spot fines of $550 or fines in court of up to $10,000, especially where they have ignored previous warnings.

CBS has advised it will be continuing its focus on this area in the coming months, sending inspectors out across the state to spot check pricing with a special focus around times of high demand such as in the lead up to public holidays and other holiday periods.

Minister Michaels said given the cost of fuel continues to rise, it had never been more important to ensure that consumers have up-to-date access to information about petrol prices and that petrol station operators are not taking unfair advantage of consumers.

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