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New laws for New Year

Business

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New laws on petrol pricing, hotel gaming and real estate advertising will make minor changes to the way those businesses operate.

Their impact on the consumer or customer remains to be seen.

In a city obsessed by petrol prices (it leads the TV news bulletins with staggering regularity), the law makers have moved to stop the practice of advertising the discounted price on price boards.

Drivers, apparently, hadn’t worked out that service stations who use the supermarket vouchers system advertise the discount price.

From January 1, fuel retailers must display actual pump prices on advertising boards, not the discounted price relating to the use of a shopping docket.

“This is about greater transparency and fairness and will be easier for everyone,” Attorney-General John Rau said.

“What you see is what you get.”

Adelaide motorists can now safely return to their practice of driving around (using fuel) to find cheaper petrol price and spending substantial minimum amounts at a supermarket to get a voucher that will save them $2.40 on a standard full tank refuel.

The next industry up for the law maker’s attention is  the real estate industry.

Agents will no longer be able to suggest a price range for a property but must give a single figure as the genuine estimate of the selling price.

For auction sales, vendors will have to include an acceptable selling price in their contract which must be within 10 per cent of the reserve price.

A host of gambling reforms will also come into effect in the new year including a requirement for all gaming machines to offer an 87.5 per cent minimum rate of return.

From February all ATMs operating in gaming venues will also have a $250-a-day cash withdrawal limit.

Combined, the two measures will mean it takes a little bit longer to lose a little bit less.

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