Tasmanian Parliament orders clearer petrol price information at retail outlets

Tasmanian petrol retailers will soon be prevented from displaying discount petrol prices on boards outside outlets.

The move received tripartisan support in Parliament on Tuesday.

Government minister Guy Barnett said the objective behind the motion was to ease cost of living pressures and make the state one of the most affordable places to live in the country.

“The cost of fuel can be a significant part of the household budget … and petrol pricing can be fickle,” he said.

Braddon Labor MHA Shane Broad said the Opposition was pleased that the government had adopted a Labor policy from last year.

He accused the government of only acting on cost of living issues in the 12 months leading up to a scheduled election – and not going far enough.

Dr Broad said Labor in government would introduce laws to force retailers to display daily fuel prices on a fuel-watch website and establish a Fuel Price Oversight Officer to work in a monitoring role within the State Growth Department.

Franklin Greens MHA Rosalie Woodruff said the party welcomed the government’s small regulatory amendment which would make pricing clearer to motorists.

“What is needed is long-term planning for the inevitable increases to the cost of petrol,” she said. 

According to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, Tasmania’s average petrol price was 135.7 cents per litre last week.

This was 8.9 cents above the national average.

Launceston motorists were paying 136 cents per litre while Sorell motorists were paying the most at 138.7 cents.

Meanwhile, the Australia Institute’s Tasmanian branch has released a report which urges government investment in supercharger stations for electric cars in the state.

State director Leanne Minshull said Tasmania’s compact geography made it an ideal place to establish the stations in an effort to boost the electric vehicle fleet.

The report presents two options: one for three charging stations along the Midland Highway, costing $921,000, or seven dispersed evenly throughout the station, costing $2.1 million.

Ms Mishull said transport accounted for 24 per cent of Tasmania’s total carbon emissions.

“The state’s unique power grid, reputation for pristine environments and geography all help make electric car infrastructure more cost-effective and rewarding,” Ms Minshull said.

“Tasmania’s size, population density and clean energy credentials make the state perfect for widespread electric vehicle adoption.”

A Nissan Leaf, with a range of 175 kilometres, costs $39,990, while at the higher end, a Tesla Model S, with a range of 502 kilometres, costs $100,800.