The RACT has welcomed BP’s decision to walk away from its proposed acquisition of Woolworths Limited’s retail service station sites.
RACT Executive General Manager, Membership & Community, said the BP
decision would ensure that there was no further reduction of competition in
Tasmania, which was a major concern raised by the RACT in its submission to the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) review
of the proposal.
“Tasmania experiences higher than average fuel
prices compared to the rest of Australia due to a current lack of
competition in the market,” Ms Pennicott said.
“The ACCC enquiry into
Launceston fuel prices highlighted this issue specifically and concluded that
the state required more fuel providers in order to stimulate competition and
ultimately provide for a lower fuel price for motorists.”
Ms Pennicott said
there were a number of locations in
Tasmania that were only serviced by a Woolworths and BP fuel retailer.
“These areas would be
heavily impacted by the reduced competition if the proposed merger occurred,”
Ms Pennicott said.
Ms Pennicott said the
RACT’s submission to the ACCC against reduction of competition in Tasmania was
just one of the measures the organisation had undertaken to encourage lower
fuel prices in the state.
“The introduction of new
fuel price boards legislation in May – where sites can only display the
undiscounted price – is something we had lobbied for since 2014, and already
we’re seeing high levels of compliance from fuel sites, which is great,” she
“We also entered a
partnership with United Petroleum two years ago, where our members can save 6
cents per litre off fuel, just by showing their RACT card when they fill up and
pay. Since the start of this partnership our members have saved almost $7.75 million. In addition, a number of new United sites have
opened around the state, increasing competition in regional areas.
“For example in Kingston,
if the BP acquisition of Woolworths had gone ahead, there would have only been
one retailer in this growing area. Instead, with the opening of a United site
earlier this year, there are now three sites to choose from.
“Another partnership we
have formed to assist motorists shop around and compare the best fuel prices in
their area is the GasBuddy app, which we encourage people to update daily.
“We will continue to fight
for Tasmanian motorists for lower fuel prices and increased options.”