Fuel hikes giving residents grief
WITH Warwick families already struggling with the increased cost of living, local petrol stations have been urged to “do the right thing” and reduce the cost of their unleaded fuel in line with the fallen national wholesale price.
Despite the Singapore benchmark price for unleaded fuel – used to calculate Australian prices – having fallen dramatically on May 6 and a nine-cents/litre fall in the national wholesale price, Warwick's average cost at the bowser has barely changed.
University of New South Wales professor Frank Zumbo carried out a survey on regional fuel prices, saying oil companies and major retailers like Coles and Woolworths were “playing games” with motorists by failing to fully pass on the recent falls.
He urged Warwick fuel stations to adhere to the wholesale fuel benchmark.
“The survey shows how the average price in Warwick has remained unchanged from its previously high level,” Mr Zumbo said.
“Retail prices should have well and truly fallen over the past three weeks to fully reflect the lower Singapore benchmark price and falls in Australian wholesale prices.”
Prices have fallen an average of six cents/litre in Brisbane and Sydney, but so far in Warwick the only change has been a two-cent reduction just this week.
Mr Zumbo said oil companies and major retailers needed to “do the right thing” and reduce their bowser prices immediately.
“Aussie families are struggling with the ever increasing cost of living and the petrol rip off is just adding more financial pain to already stretched family budgets,” he said.
Warwick motorist Pam Wright contacted the Daily News when she noticed a substantial difference in prices between Warwick and just over the Gap at Aratula.
“Last Thursday we headed over to the coast and Aratula prices were 135.9c/L and 136.9, yet here was about 143c/L,” Mrs Wright said.
“If Aratula can sell it for that price then why can't we?
“I just think it's a bit unfair – I think the fuel stations here could try a bit harder.”
Mrs Wright said she was waiting for the expected drop of prices, but said she hadn't noticed any considerable changes at the pump.
“It's always the case as soon as the prices go up (Warwick service stations) are the first to go up and very slow to put them back down,” she said.
“I'm sure we all keep an eye on prices. Toowoomba was quite reasonable with their petrol prices.”
The Warwick motorist said she didn't have a specific ritual to buy cheaper fuel and likened it to being similar to “musical garages”.
“We don't really worry about it. We go into town to get bits and pieces and fuel up when we need to,” she said.
“Before we go to Brisbane we might get $5 or $10 to get to Aratula, where it's usually a bit cheaper, but in Brisbane it's all over the place.”
Tuesday's average unleaded price in Warwick was 144.7c/L according to national fuel watchdog MotorMouth, compared with an average of 140.7c/L for Brisbane.
As of last night, this figure had fallen by around two cents/litre at most outlets.
Interestingly, MotorMouth highlights Warwick's average diesel price as among the lowest in regional Queensland.
Warwick's 147.2c/L compared with 150.1c/L for Kingaroy, 151.9c/L for Roma, 148.5c/L for Goondiwindi and Longreach's 158.1c/L.
Save money at the petrol station with these handy tips:
When filling up, keep the hose in the tank until after the pump shuts off – as much as a half cup of petrol is in the hose after the pump stops.
Put your car into neutral or park at traffic lights.
Always try to accelerate gradually.
Unload the car of necessary weight.