The ACCC inquiry into petrol prices will hold a public hearing in Perth on Wednesday, 1 May.

Two issues the inquiry is keen to examine are the impact of petroleum imports in the Perth market and the diminishing role of independents. Perth is the only metropolitan market where petrol imports are a regular and significant component of supply. The city also experiences the highest petrol prices of any mainland metropolitan market. Although WA has the highest State tax on petrol, this fact alone does not explain the higher prices in Perth.

The ACCC is keen to gather more evidence about WA markets and is seeking additional witnesses and/or submissions from West Australians with knowledge about some aspect of the industry.

The inquiry is reviewing the present method of regulating wholesale petrol prices throughout Australia. The oil majors have already presented their case and are arguing for deregulation of petrol prices.

The Commission is also examining the disparity between city and country prices and has been asked to recommend any measures that might sharpen competition in rural markets. The ACCC is scheduled to submit its report to the Commonwealth Government by July 31.

Details of the Perth hearing are: Time: 10am, Wednesday, 1 May Location: Novotel Langley Hotel 221 Adelaide Terrace