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Legislation is currently before the WA Parliament that aims to bring the new Costco fuel outlet at Perth Airport under the FuelWatch umbrella.
Currently, the Petroleum Products Pricing Act 1983 (WA) does not cover fuel sales when there is an existing agreement between the customer and the fuel retailer, including member-based schemes such as Costco.
When passed by Parliament, the new laws will mean Costco will not be able to claim this general exemption from FuelWatch and will be required to report its pricing.
FuelWatch requires retailers to notify their fuel prices for the following day by 2pm which will be fixed for 24 hours from 6am. The prices are made public via the FuelWatch website and email alerts sent to subscribers.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said the general exemption was never intended to be used to benefit the Costco style of business model.
“The intention of the FuelWatch legislation is to exclude arrangements such as fuel cards, shopper dockets and fuel costs when a hire car is returned with an empty tank,” Ms Chopping said.
“It now has the unintended consequence of excluding Costco. As only members can purchase its fuel, an agreement is established which satisfies the current general criteria for exemption. The new laws will be more specific about the exemptions that are allowed.
“We applaud Costco’s entry to the WA fuel market for increasing competition, but we strongly believe the company needs to be subject to FuelWatch rules in order to create a level playing field with other participants in the marketplace.
“While we await the amendments to be passed and new regulations to be created, we have invited Costco to voluntarily enter into FuelWatch and that offer still stands.”
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / firstname.lastname@example.org