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Hitting the ground running

Posted by Jeff Griffiths, ACAPMA President on 18 February 2013

I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a colossal year. To begin, we have the impending federal election. Exactly when this will play out, isn’t known at this stage. If the prediction by ACAPMA’s CEO, Nic Moulis, is anything to go by, (as per his forecast here) this will occur towards the end half of the year – August or early September.

With the looming election, your Association will continue in its mission to put the convenience and petroleum marketing industry’s case before Members of Parliament and those aspiring to be there, seek their opinions and gauge if they support changes to improve the state of our industry.

The election campaign between the two major parties promises to be very personal and aggressive. Unfortunately, for businesses including those in our industry, I believe that during this period we will see very little meaningful content regarding policies and even less on their costing. Your Board is determined to stay out of the personal attacks during this time, but we will be keen to understand what each party’s plans are should they win power.

We also need to be very clear with the current  Government about how it has performed over the last three years - starting with the fact that we have not seen any new legislation to assist small business since they have been in power. Their business agenda seems to revolve around increasing mining taxes, propping up the car manufacturing industry and giving the workplace employment agenda to the union movement. During the same time the Opposition has not come forward with any industrial relations policies, nor have they outlined concisely what they will do to assist small-to-medium sized businesses with ever-increasing costs.

ACAPMA Board of Management is off to Canberra again this year, as part of ACAPMA @ The House and regular Board meetings. During the parliamentary sitting week from 18 to 22 March 2013, we will meet with Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, setting an agenda that will seek answers on industry issues such as: refinery closures; open terminals; importation of fuel; predatory pricing activities; regional growth; and the industrial relations environment. Feedback and updates coming out of these sessions will be presented to you through ACAPMAg and the news sections of for your consideration.

Nic and I have also been busy talking with representatives from the New South Wales, Victorian and Queensland Police about the continuing issue of drive-off and failure to pay. It is fair to say that from our initial meetings, the common view was that this was purely an industry problem and should not be a policing issue. As such, we worked hard to gather information to show that instances of drive-off not only endanger the public as well as staff – take the act of exiting a site aggressively to avoid payment for example – but, they are often related to other crimes.

The police have listened, gaining a better understanding of this industry-wide issue. But to make a difference, we need your support in two areas.

First, and quite simply, I need you to sign your sites up to the National Drive-off Register (NDR). Launched at the conference in September 2012, the NDR is receiving compliments and support from petrol convenience store owners, the wider industry, police, politicians and the media. A testament to the positive interest has been the wide mass media coverage, that has included two separate reports on drive-off and the NDR aired on the Nine Network’s “A Current Affair”. The strength of this great industry initiative requires your support and I urge you to contact ACAPMAssist by calling 1300 160 270 to register.

Where CCTV provided by you has assisted police further in their investigations, I am asking that you please send this information to me so I can take these examples back to the police to prove that our sites and technology assist in their investigations; further cementing the fact that our industry deserves their support. Please forward any information to ACAPMAssist by emailing

I also would like to congratulate the ACAPMA team on establishing the Daily Terminal Gate Price (TGP) Report, which is emailed to members each morning. This information source came out of a request from our members, who said there was a need for TGP for any given area. Nic and Phil went to work and developed a very comprehensive report that provides members with the posted TGPs from every major supplier at every seaboard terminal across Australia. The Board and I believe this new program will add knowledge to your businesses and value to your membership. I hope you agree.

Well done team!

Author: Jeff Griffiths, ACAPMA President
Tags: industrial relations election ACAPMA at the House refinery closures open terminals importation of fuel predatory pricing National Drive-off Register

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