Petrol prices in Lismore
Petrol prices in Lismore

'Looking very closely’: ACCC warns petrol retailers

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is closely monitoring retail petrol price movements in Australia in the coming weeks, to determine if the recent falls in international crude oil and refined petrol prices are flowing through to consumers.

This follows a decline in the price of crude oil and refined petrol since early January 2020 and, in particular, sharp falls in crude oil prices in recent week.

Page MP Kevin Hogan this week said he was submitting data on petrol prices in Grafton, Lismore and Casino to the ACCC.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury also said the public was losing patience waiting for the oil companies to do the right thing.

"There is really no reason why petrol prices should not be around $1 a litre anywhere in the state," he said.

Changes in international refined petrol prices usually take between one and two weeks to be reflected in retail petrol prices in the larger capital cities, and longer in the smaller capital cities and in regional areas.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said Australian petrol prices were primarily determined by international crude oil and refined petrol prices.

"We will be looking at the market very closely, to determine if further sustained reductions in international prices are being passed onto consumers, and we will be publicly identifying those retailers that are not passing on reductions."

"The ACCC cannot control the petrol prices companies set but we can call out problematic price setting which can influence company behaviour," Mr Sims said.

"At this time the Australian economy needs all the assistance it can get, and lower world oil prices are one of the few positives from current world events."

The Northern Star readers have also made their opinions clear about current fuel prices.

Georgie Moore said she was mystified by why people had not reacted in a stronger way.

"Ballina outlets continue to sell fuel at more than 30¢ per litre than others throughout the state let alone the country," she wrote in a letter.

"Unleaded petrol is $1.07 on the northern border at Bilinga which is close to Coolangatta Airport.

"I ask why are we being held to ransom by these companies?"

Rod Johnston agreed with that sentiment.

"We are all in this together except the service stations," he wrote.

"In the Ballina area we are paying top dollar for fuel. All surrounding communities are discounted down to $1.10. Why are we still paying and supporting the petrol cartels? Go to Brunswick Heads for a picnic and fill up its is still cheaper then filling up in Ballina."

Local petrol prices can be checked online at www.fuelcheck.nsw.gov.au.


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