Keith Pitt urges fuel retailers to end highway robbery

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt is calling on the major petrol retailers to drop their bowser price, to reduce household expenses over the holiday period.

Mr Pitt said the price of crude oil had plunged by 40 per cent since June, but in most cases the price at the pump locally has only dropped by a few cents.

“It’s highway robbery! Petrol retailers are enjoying profit margins double the historic average, despite the price of oil plummeting to a four-year low,” Mr Pitt said.

“Earlier this week, oil prices fell to their lowest level since 2009. Bank forecasts for crude oil (Brent) in 2015 have been slashed from $US98 to $US70, before an expected fall to a low of $US43 a barrel in the second quarter of next year,” Mr Pitt said.

“I urge the major fuel retailers to start passing these savings on to consumers now. The money is far better off in the pockets of local families, farmers and fishers.

“Australians drive vast distances over the summer holiday period to visit loved ones. Any money they save at the pump can be spent in local businesses that employ local people.

“Where possible, I encourage Hinkler residents to shop around for the lowest price to help drive greater competition in the market.

“If they feel their local petrol station is not playing fair, I encourage them to lodge their complaint in writing with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“Earlier this week I wrote to Minister Bruce Billson, whose portfolio responsibilities include the ACCC, to highlight the concerns of Hinkler residents and businesses.

“The ACCC has an obligation to protect consumers from unfair trading practices. There is absolutely no excuse for the local retail fuel price to still be above $1.40 per litre when – based on the crude oil price – it should be closer to $1.10 per litre. This is highway robbery!”

Media contact: Larine Statham 0427 653 814