VALLEY residents welcomed changes to petrol station signboard regulations this week which means operators will no longer be allowed to display their discounted petrol price as the prominent display price.
The changes, introduced by NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts on Wednesday, will kick into effect on September 1 with a 12-month grace period. Fines of up to $11,000 may apply after that.
Under the new standard, all NSW petrol station price boards will have to display prices of the top-two selling fuels for that particular service station, as well as the price for diesel and LPG. The top-two selling fuels are the two types of fuel that sold the highest volumes in the immediately preceding six months.
The price displayed is to be the price per litre available to all retail customers, that is, the normal price without any discounts or special offers.
Earlier this year, Fair Trading inspected more than 300 service stations and found a large number of operators displaying discounted rather than the full, normal price of unleaded petrol. A NRMA survey found one-in-two motorists felt misled by fuel-price boards. Douglas Taylor of Coutts Crossing agreed with Minister Roberts' assessment that the changes would be effective in increasing competition between petrol retailers and may give smaller retailers a better chance to compete.