The oil industry today urged the Opposition and the Democrats to allow the passage of the Petroleum Retail Legislation Repeal Bill, containing the Government’s reform package for the petroleum products industry.
Jim Starkey, Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Petroleum said ‘AIP member companies can accept the draft Oilcode (subject to agreement on one item) as part of full implementation of the Government’s industry reform package, including repeal of the Petroleum Retail Marketing Sites Act. Repeal of the Sites Act and a new Oilcode are integral parts of the Government’s industry reform package which can only be considered as a whole.’
Jim Starkey said that the oil companies had made substantial concessions and commitments to address reseller concerns on various aspects of the Government’s reform package, including Oilcode. The companies had tabled undertakings in relation to future plans for their service station networks following implementation of the Government’s reform package.
‘The concessions on Oilcode have been made by the oil companies to assist the progress of the total Government reform package, including repeal of the Petroleum Retail Marketing Franchise and Sites Acts. If both Acts are not repealed, the future viability of the franchise networks of the oil companies is threatened. The oil companies would not be able to introduce the new franchise structures that have been supported by many of their franchisees. Accordingly AIP and its member companies cannot accept the introduction of the new Oilcode without the repeal of the two Acts’, said Jim Starkey.
The overall reform package is essential to the future of the industry. It contains the most comprehensive protections for resellers, while allowing oil companies to restructure to meet the demands of the market. In the end, the consumer can only benefit.
It is time to move to implement the complete industry reform package. A two year review of the operation is proposed. This would allow any fine tuning of the package necessary.