The Road Ahead : October November 2008
perspective WITH IAN GILLESPIE RACQ CHIEF EXECUTIVE While fuel accounts for only 15-20 percent of the cost of running the average family vehicle, it’s still a signifi cant issue for car owners. Fuel price tussle O The C media gene appr RA unde when The Club is working in government, industry and media circles on behalf of its members and motorists generally to ensure that pump prices are fair and reflect appropriate market forces. RACQ is also endeavouring to help members better understand how the system works and how to spot when they are, or aren’t, getting a good deal on fuel prices prices. o a For example, motorists in the south-east are well aware of weekly price cycles, with two-thirds of weekly petrol sales generally taking place on the two lowest priced days of the week. The RACQ’s online ‘Cheap Petrol’ guide makes it much easier to fi nd where the best deals are on a daily basis across the state. More than 17,000 motorists are using it each month. The Club is also making its views known to ne of the most common questions RACQ is asked is what can be done about high fuel prices? two government fuel price-related inquiries: the Senate Standing Committee on Economics FuelWatch investigation; and the Queensland Government’s state fuel subsidy review. The RACQ doesn’t support the proposed national FuelWatch scheme because no evidence exists to show that it will lower petrol prices. It’s more likely that under FuelWatch, prices will rise and competition will decrease, leaving consumers worse off. At the same time, the Club supports State Government moves to protect the state fuel subsidy, but we are yet to see details of exactly what this will involve. The method chosen needs to be workable for all concerned, cost-effective to implement, and fair to motorists and petrol retailers alike. Safeguards are needed for pump price and subsidy protection for all types of fuel, not just unleaded, and consumers need to be able to easily differentiate between prices that apply for each type of fuel. For example, petrol retailers often advertise the price for cheaper E10 on their price boards to draw in drivers. Greater clarity and consistency in how prices are promoted around the state is required. RACQ has developed two fact sheets, available at racq.com, for members to help take some of the mystery out of fuel pricing. Among other things, they explain how the Singapore benchmark price impacts on pump prices in Queensland, and why it’s a myth that diesel prices in New Zealand are better. Grab a car loan with discounts for RACQ members. Over the years you’ve trusted RACQ to help you on your way and now you can trust RACQ Finance for your car loan, too. We offer personal loans with highly competitive rates and no ongoing fees for any worthwhile purpose - cars, home renovations, holidays and even consolidating existing lending. For details, visit www.racq.com/carloan or call 1300 361 316 Credit provided by R.A.C.V. Finance Ltd ABN 82 004 292 291. Subject to application and approval. Fees, charges and conditions apply.
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