ACCC put pressure on the pump, call out Warwick price hike
FUEL retailers in Warwick are under scrutiny again as the State Government launches an independent investigation into prices at the pump.
In a letter to the ACCC, Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham urged the watchdog to look into whether Rose City residents were being ripped off by fuel retailers.
“Warwick motorists deserve a better deal at the fuel bowser,” he said.
“We have seen that motorists in these regions are not getting the same low fuel prices as those in larger cities, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis.”
In response, the ACCC said they would put pressure on retailers to do the right thing.
“We understand that consumers in those areas are rightly upset at paying more than their counterparts in other areas,” a spokesperson said.
“We have previously found that the lack of vigorous and effective competition in some regional locations was a major reason for higher prices in those locations.
“Retailers should not take advantage of the situation to increase their profits but should pass on savings to motorists.”
At the weekend, the cheapest unleaded was available at the new United station on Wallace St or Metro Petroleum, also on Wallace St, at 97.9 cents per litre.
United Petroleum and Pie Face owner Omar Farooq said the cheap prices saw his sales skyrocket.
“It was a very busy one and people shop around for cheap fuel so they came to us,” he said.
“I own the other United and have asked head office to lower the prices there as well, we’re really hoping to keep prices down for locals.”
According to RACQ statistics, prices in Brisbane dropped to a record low of 88.4 cents per litre in April as a result of the pandemic and the Saudi/Russian oil price war.
Warwick’s average April fuel price was $1.19.
An hour away, Toowoomba was runner-up for regional city with the lowest prices at an average of $1.02 per litre.
The rest of Warwick’s fuel providers are pricing petrol over a dollar, with the highest at Caltex on the Cunningham Highway for $1.29 per litre.
The State Government has launched a fuel price reporting trial requiring all fuel retailers to report their prices 30 minutes after changing them.
Dr Lynham urged the ACCC to “name and shame” retailers doing “the wrong thing”.
“The ACCC cannot control the petrol prices companies set but we can call out problematic price setting, which can influence company behaviour,” the spokesperson said.