About downstream petroleum legislation
Downstream petroleum activity in Australia is regulated by the Trade Practices (Industry Codes—Oilcode) Regulations 2006 (the Oilcode).
The Oilcode is a mandatory industry code under Section 51AE of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. It was introduced by the Australian Government as part of the Downstream Petroleum Reform Package.
The Oilcode applies to all downstream petroleum industry participants and was designed to remove restrictions on competition, promote industry certainty about the future, promote cultural change and improve sustainability.
This was intended to create a more effective regulatory regime, giving all industry players the freedom to respond to changing conditions in the retail petroleum market without reducing levels of competition.
The three main objectives of the Oilcode are to:
- establish standard contractual terms and conditions for wholesale supplier-fuel retailer re-selling agreements for both franchise and commission agency arrangements
- introduce a nationally consistent approach to terminal gate pricing (TGP) arrangements and improve transparency in wholesale pricing and allow access for all customers, including small businesses, to petroleum products at TGP
- establish an independent, downstream petroleum Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) including the appointment of a Dispute Resolution Adviser (DRA) to provide the industry with a cost-effective alternative to taking action in the courts.
The Oilcode repealed the Petroleum Retail Marketing Franchise Act 1980 (the Franchise Act) and the Petroleum Retail Marketing Sites Act 1980 (the Sites Act).
One feature of the Oilcode is the establishment of an independent downstream petroleum Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) to provide the industry with an ongoing, cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism as an alternative to taking action in the courts. The scheme is delivered by a Dispute Resolution Advisor.
How is RET involved?
The department provides policy advice in relation to issues affecting the downstream petroleum industry.
For more information about downstream petroleum legislationin Australia email TransportFuels@ret.gov.au.