Ripped off at the fuel bowser

WARWICK, when it comes to the bowser you're getting ripped off, a fuel-watching expert has said.

While fuel stations around the state begin to shave their prices by up to 10c/L, Warwick's prices have only gone down 1-3c.

Professor Frank Zumbo at the University of New South Wales specialises in competition and consumer law matters and as an avid fuel watcher, said Warwick should have seen a bigger price reduction.

"It's a blatant rip off across regional Queensland," Prof Zumbo said.

"The context is that we've had a sharp fall in international oil process, 17c/L in the past month which means we should have seen those sharp falls translate into a sharp fall at the retail end, and we're not seeing that in Warwick."

While Brisbane enjoys more than 10c/L off their petrol bills, Prof Zumbo says even they should be seeing more of a price drop.

"Singapore benchmarks the price of unleaded and that has fallen about $15 a barrel in the last month and means there is a sharp fall in the wholesale prices in Australia - they're just not passing that saving on," he said.

He said the last petrol price dive was when the Global Financial Crisis hit in 2007/2008.

"At the moment with Europe's economic instability, there is a lot of nervousness internationally and the price is driven by global demand," Prof Zumbo said.

He said the low fuel prices should have been implemented a fortnight ago and should continue to drop - if only Warwick outlets would follow the trend.

"If those falls aren't being passed on at the retail end, and they should be coming down and continuing to come down, it puts motorists in a dismal position," Prof Zumbo said.

One Southern Downs motorist was furious with the price of fuel around Warwick and as a regular commuter said he would rather spend his money where he got the most value per dollar.

"I went to Brisbane at the weekend and Aratula had unleaded for 137c/L and when I got into Warwick it was 148c/L - just 50km down the road," Buckley Smith said.

"It's annoying and frustrating to know you can go to Brisbane or Aratula and fuel up for less.

"Usually now I leave for Brisbane with half a tank and fill up when I get there."

Mr Smith said he couldn't understand why the Chamber of Commerce was pushing people to shop local, when they were getting ripped off to do so.

"The Chamber says we have to shop local but aside from fuel, you can't even afford a set of tyres here," he said.

"I can go to Ipswich and get a pair of tyres for nothing compared to here.

"The same tyre I got in Ipswich for $180, they wanted $257 for (in Warwick), so it's not just fuel," he said.

Killarney Co-op service station attendant Julie Wadsworth said their unleaded price was at $147.9 yesterday and that was what they had to price it at.

"It's what we can buy fuel for in the market and that's what it costs to get it trucked to Killarney," she said.


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