City prices drive petrol rethink
DOMANII CAMERON, Townsville Bulletin
December 19, 2016 1:00am
HOLIDAY-makers are being urged to “vote with their wallets” to send a message to petrol companies — even if it means filling up outside Townsville.
The RACQ said the average price of unleaded fuel in Townsville at the weekend was 3c/litre too high, while prices were up to 10c/litre cheaper north and south of the city.
“If motorists are driving through the likes of Ayr they should … fill up as those are some of the cheapest prices in Queensland,” RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said.
According to the RACQ’s Fair Fuel Price report, the average price of unleaded fuel was 127c/litre in Townsville yesterday.
The average price in Ayr was more than 10c/litre lower at 116.9c, while in Ingham it was 119.9c/litre. In Mount Isa, the average price was 119.9c/litre.
Ms Smith said Townsville’s average fuel price was 3c/litre higher than what the RACQ believed was fair based on wholesale prices and allowing for a reasonable margin.
“Motorists should make sure they are shopping around and supporting the cheaper service stations,” she said.
“Vote with your wallets.”
Ms Smith said Ayr had maintained some of the cheapest fuel in the state for much of 2016.
“This will be the case in the lead-up to Christmas,” she said.
“Service stations there have been acting very competitively, which isn’t always the case in Townsville.”
Ms Smith said competition driven by consumers could force prices down in Townsville.
“If we are giving our business to those who are overcharging, there is no incentive for them to drop their prices,” she said.
United Petroleum Mount Louisa, which opened last week, is one service station that has been trying to keep prices down. On Friday afternoon, unleaded fuel was 109.9c/per litre — about 20c below the city’s average.
“We’ve had hundreds of people through the business already,” United’s Andrew English said. “It’s about us continuing to drive the cost of fuel down.”
Mr English said competitive prices would be maintained across the Christmas period.
“We want to bring a better deal and make life easier for people. We understand people are under stress but we are trying to help where we can,” he said.
“Fuel is almost always driven by competition, it can be cheaper closer to Brisbane where the terminals are as it’s sometimes related to transport costs. “But we are a local company and are here for the long haul in Townsville.”