Ms KATRINA HODGKINSON ( Cootamundra ) ( 15:02 ): My question is addressed to the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation.
The SPEAKER: Order! I would like to hear the question. Members will come to order.
Ms KATRINA HODGKINSON: How is the New South Wales Government helping consumers save money on petrol? Is the Minister aware of any alternative policies?
Mr MATT KEAN ( Hornsby—Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation) (15:03): I thank the member for Cootamundra for her question, her interest in cheaper petrol for consumers and her interest in cost of living pressures faced by New South Wales citizens. More than five million vehicles are registered in New South Wales and around three-quarters of those are passenger vehicles—the vehicles people drive every day between work and home, to drop off the kids at school and to shop for groceries. Fuel prices are a big impost on the family budget, which is why the Liberal-Nationals Government introduced FuelCheck—an online, real-time fuel price monitoring system to provide consumers with more choice and to help them save money. A well-informed consumer is a powerful consumer. FuelCheck gives New South Wales consumers the tool they need to instantly find out the best place for them to fill up. In its first six months FuelCheck received more than 1.3 million hits from motorists who have used it to compare fuel prices and find the best deal.
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Strathfield and the member for Canterbury will come to order.
Mr MATT KEAN: Service station operators have nowhere to hide. The real-time price guide provided by FuelCheck means that motorists always know who has the cheapest fuel.
The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Strathfield to order for the first time.
Mr MATT KEAN: The days of filling up and then finding a cheaper fuel price down the road are over. A quick search on the FuelCheck system can find a 30¢difference in fuel prices in a single suburb. Recently premium 98 fuel was 167.9¢ a litre at Coles Express in Ramsgate, while it was 137.9¢ a litre at the Budget service station in Kogarah. With these price variations, motorists who fill up their 45-litre tank once a week can save around $700 a year. With 2,171 service stations registered in New South Wales it is compulsory for each and every one of them to log on and update their prices on FuelCheck.
The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Rockdale to order for the first time.
Mr MATT KEAN: Now that FuelCheck is embedded in New South Wales, I am giving service station operators fair warning that if they advertise false prices or fail to update their prices on FuelCheck, they will face the possibility of heavy fines. Their consumers are watching them. Motorists have reported more than 850 instances where the price on the sign or bowser does not match what is showing on FuelCheck. FuelCheck is all about transparency and information. I can report that an analysis of the first six months of FuelCheck has confirmed that, compared to the major brands, independents and small petrol retailers remain the best value for consumers, with Budget Yagoona the cheapest place to fill up with E10 over the past six months.
The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Prospect to order for the first time.
Mr MATT KEAN: For the benefit of the member for Cootamundra, outside Sydney the cheapest E10 has been Metro Fuel, Barmedman. I know that the member for Cootamundra will be delighted with that result.
The SPEAKER: Order! I place the member for Rockdale on three calls to order.
Mr MATT KEAN: I note that this is not the only policy approach to dealing with cost of living pressures in New South Wales. In fact, this morning I read a piece in the Daily Telegraph by Jason Tin outlining the Labor Party's plans to deal with cost of living pressures.
The SPEAKER: Order! Members will come to order. There is too much audible conversation in the Chamber.
Mr MATT KEAN: It is a policy that the Labor Party calls free money. Allegedly, this policy was developed by an organisation called NSW Labor's Economic Committee. At first I thought this must have been a satirical piece but Jason Tin asserts that this committee exists. The story reports that a group within Labor's Left or socialist faction is pushing for the establishment of a universal basic income, better known colloquially as Labor's free money scheme. [Extension of time]
Clearly, the Labor Party wants the people of New South Wales to rest assured that even whilst in opposition it is trying to work out new ways to trash the economy. It is worth reminding the House at this point that one of Labor's proudest sons of the New South Wales Left faction is none other than the Leader of the Opposition. We all know that he has had his deep struggles with the socialist objective and today we realise why. I am happy to acknowledge that NSW Labor, like the Coalition Government, has drawn on policy ideas from the world's best and brightest thinkers.
Members on this side of the House have looked at places such as Singapore and Hong Kong in gathering information about a project such as the Sydney Metro. For improving our education system we have looked at places such as South Korea. But New South Wales Labor in designing its back-to-the-future, free-money scheme has looked at Cuba, North Korea and Paul Lynch's library.
Mr Luke Foley: Point of order—
The SPEAKER: Order! Ministers will come to order.
Mr Luke Foley: My point of order goes to relevance. We know the policy of the left wing of the Liberals is free money for Michael Photios.
The SPEAKER: Order! The Minister has the call. Members will come to order.
Mr MATT KEAN: In a world where so much is changing, it must be comforting for everyone in New South Wales to know that New South Wales Labor never will. [Time expired.]
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