MotorMouth has called on the NT Government to explain its reasoning behind plans to replicate the pre-existing fuel price information service.
The NT Government plans to establish the ‘MyFuel NT’ scheme as a territory-wide fuel price reporting scheme, rolling out later this year.
For several years MotorMouth has published fuel prices in a near real-time mobile app, allowing motorists to find the best available deal on fuel.
MotorMouth spokesperson Alan Cadd said it’s baffling that the NT government want to spend tax dollars to replicate a service that already exists for free.
“Why should the NT taxpayer foot the bill for such a scheme? Wouldn’t these public funds be better spent elsewhere,” he said.
“They key is, the government doesn’t need to do this, there is already a free, to motorists service out there.
“The absolute consequence is that they are going to spend a half a million dollars that they simply don’t need to spend.
“Across all methods, MotorMouth has up to 80% of the Territory covered and with motorists knowing what is happening across the majority of the market, if they pass a price that is not displayed on MotorMouth, they know immediately whether or not it is a good deal.”
In contrast, the MyFuel NT scheme will publish all retailers’ fuel prices in real time via a website, meaning everyone will have access to the information.
Mr Cadd said the scheme will increase the cost of living for Territorians.
“MyFuel NT will replicate MotorMouth, cost NT taxpayers over half a million dollars in Year One and [is] likely to increase, not decrease, the cost of fuel at the pump,” he said.
“This database that is created is not only available to motorists, it’s available to the retailers, and these are the unintended consequences that these governments never think about.
“When big oil gets hold of perfect pricing data, they can then move more quickly to match small operators. The effect of that effect is small operators get their big advantage, which is price whittled away, and when their price is whittled away they don’t have the advantages of the good shops and the big offers…and so they go out of business.”
Once established MyFuel NT will be mandatory, and minimum standards for fuel pricing boards will be underpinned by legislation.