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QLD sets stage for fuel price monitoring scheme

In a move looking to deliver some much needed hip-pocket relief, the QLD government will trial a fuel price monitoring scheme over the next two years.

 Under the plan, every station will have to regularly update consumers on fuel prices.  But as costs for the essential commodity skyrocket across the nation, many are questioning whether government intervention or more regulation is needed to burst the profit bubble.

“I think the big question we have in the industry is whether companies are tacitly coordinating on higher prices,” says Dr David Byrne.

“We may have silent coordination going on. This is where petrol stations keep their price up and at the same point, thinking they’re going to split the market rather then trying to kill and undercut each other very aggressively.”

It is thought that this kind of centralised pricing is making it too easy for companies to up prices across the fuel network, with the free market failing to produce competition and downward pressure.

Dr Byrne suggests the government could use fuel data to time an intervention.

“They can make all companies aware that they will intervene, because they are watching prices in real time, because of the data,” he says.

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