Forcing service stations to post petrol prices on-line in "real time" on a government-regulated fuel monitoring website would be the "much-needed wake-up call" the industry needed, a motorist advocacy group says.
The NRMA has welcomed a key recommendation from an ACT Assembly inquiry report which seeks to establish the website as a means of tackling Canberra's high petrol prices and creating price transparency.
It says it fought for a similar system to be established in NSW in 2017.
"We believe the same system will work in the ACT. Currently there is an 11 per cent gap between the cheapest and the most expensive station. We want drivers to be able to make an informed choice when filling up," NRMA director and former Labor senator Kate Lundy said.
The Assembly committee back-tracked on earlier proposals to offer fuel subsidies to low-income earners and cap retail margins for retailers as these could inadvertently drive up prices for other motorists.
The cross-party committee handed down its final report on Tuesday, following a seven month inquiry into why Canberrans were paying more at the bowser than motorists in other cities.
The report noted that the cost of fuel was largely dependent on external factors, such as crude oil prices and exchange rates.
But it found the Canberra market has a number of distinct characteristics, which have led, at least in part, to consistently higher fuel prices in the nation's capital than in other capital cities and surrounding regional towns.
This included a lack of smaller independent outlets, an absence of petrol stations on main roads and higher business costs.
Canberrans also avoided "shopping around" to find cheaper fuel because of the inconvenience, the committee found.
The committee, chaired by Labor backbencher Tara Cheyne, said the ACT government had "minimal" power to control fuel prices, meaning the focus should be on measures that could improve market competition and transparency around prices.
In her report, Ms Cheyne said the committee had been "deliberately cautious" with its suggestions, as it did not want to recommend measures which could potentially force up prices and distort the market.
That explains why the committee ultimately rejected a range of proposals which were flagged in its interim report in May.
The rejected measures included fuel subsidies for low-income earners and setting a maximum retail margin for fuel retailers.