In December last year, Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson issued a new direction to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to increase efforts to monitor pricing and profits in the fuel industry over the next three years.
These monitoring reports will be useful evidence for identifying where fuel pricing has not responded to lower international prices for oil.
I encourage motorists to contact the ACCC if they have information that shows that a fuel retailer is not competing fairly. This can be done by calling 1300 302 502 or visiting www.accc.gov.au. The ACCC will be considering specific geographic markets as a part of the new direction from Minister Billson.
One effective way of ensuring a better deal on fuel prices is to make sure that you support retailers who are offering lower prices and by sharing this with friends, family and on social media. Unfortunately the ability to do this is limited in smaller country towns where there is limited completion or a large distance between towns.
Local newspapers have in many cases done an excellent job of highlighting when retailers in a country town are not responding to the lower oil prices and taking advantage of the lack in competition. Sites such as www.mynrma.com.au also compare average petrol prices in some country towns.
The Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Programme will provide $50 million over four years to deliver tree planting projects across the country.
The Request for Tender process, which opened in late December, will engage one or more service providers to deliver large-scale tree planting projects across Australia, benefiting both the environment and local communities. These service providers will then work with local community groups and landholders to deliver large-scale tree planting projects.
These projects will re-establish green corridors, improving habitat for our threatened species and improve our environment by rehabilitating and revegetating previously degraded areas.
Successful service providers will make an important contribution to the local and broader community while providing valuable environmental benefits.
The Request for Tender follows the recent 20 Million Trees Programme small competitive grants round, which invited communities in to get involved in the programme by applying for grants of between $20 000 and $100 000 to undertake native tree planting projects.
More information about the 20 Million Trees Programme is available at www.nrm.gov.au/20-million-trees.