Urgent action needed on rising petrol costs

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt is demanding the ACCC takes urgent action on rising petrol costs which are crippling the region.

Mr Pitt has written to both Minister for Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims.

“How can fuel prices in Hervey Bay be $1.56 and $1.49 in Bundaberg when, only a year ago it was $1.26? Locals need answers and I’ve asked both the Minister and the head of ACCC to provide them,” he said.

“Numerous Hinkler residents have contacted my office recently in regards to the continuing increases in fuel prices, which people just can’t keep paying.

“There are significant discrepancies also, as in some parts of the electorate, the price difference is as much as 10-15 centres per litre,” Mr Pitt said.

RACQ’s September 2018 fuel prices show the average ULP price in Bundaberg was 149.2 cents per litre (cpl), while Hervey Bay was 156.4 (cpl). ULP in Maryborough – located in the neighbouring electorate of Wide Bay and only 20 minutes by car from Hervey Bay – was 150.3 cpl, six cents lower than Hervey Bay.

The average UPL prices in September 2017 were 126.0 cpl in Bundaberg and 127.3 cpl in Hervey Bay.

“We know it’s not local retailers so is it greedy wholesalers who are price gauging and making profits off locals who can least afford it.

“I’ve been fighting cost of living pressures, especially power pricing, and now we’re being hit with ridiculous fuel prices. Something’s got to give.

“Hinkler has some of the highest rates of disability, retirement and unemployment in the country. Everyone – businesses, families and individuals – are all struggling under the weight of ever increasing cost of living prices, in particular electricity prices.

“Adding high fuel pricing to an already struggling economy is far from ideal.”

Mr Pitt has asked the ACCC consider the Hinkler electorate as a site for a market study into petrol.

“After investigating four locations since 2014, the ACCC needs to investigate the pricing in other regional areas.”


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