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ACCC advises consumers to shop around for cheaper fuel

fuelThe Australian competition watchdog is advising Australians to shop around for cheaper petrol ahead of rising fuel costs this week.

The cost of petrol has been rising at an alarming rate across the country with consumers growing frustrated at having to fork out more and more.

Melbourne hit a 10-year high last month and as of Monday this week, Adelaide motorists were paying an average of $1.67 a litre.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the ACCC that he is “expecting action” on the issue.

But ACCC chair Rod Sims says it’s up to Australians to work out the best times and places to fill up for lower prices.

“What consumers can do is shop around. I know it sounds trite, but there is money to be made,” Sims told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

He said that the watchdog would continue to scrutinise the market and take legal action to address illegal behaviour but that prices are largely dictated by overseas petrol prices and tax.

“Before you even get to the local service station, 85 per cent of the price is explainable by things that are very hard to do anything with,” Sims said.

“What we can ensure is the people who are selling it here behave.”

Sims said that he doesn’t believe divestment powers are the solution to improving the petrol market.

Earlier this week the prime minister said he was looking for answers from the ACCC.

“They’re the cop on the beat, they’re the ones we fund to go out there and monitor why prices are moving up and down and how they’re timed,” he said on Tuesday.

While he recognised that some costs are out of their control, the ACCC has powers to investigate if consumers are being ripped off.

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