‘Vote with your tyres’: Bowen motorists pay more for fuel
BOWEN motorists have been slugged with higher fuel prices than their neighbours prompting a plea for drivers to “vote with their tyres” and find the cheapest price to drive competition.
Member for Burdekin Dale Last said he had been approached by a number of Bowen residents during the coronavirus pandemic who told him, although prices had reduced dramatically, they were still paying more than their neighbours in Ayr or Airlie Beach.
He said he had brought the Bowen fuel market to the attention of the ACCC, but called on retailers and motorists to play their part in helping to keep prices down.
Although not open to the general public, he said it could inspire more competition among fuel retailers.
“According to the ACCC the average fuel price in Bowen fell substantially in the period from early January to mid-May but, from what locals told me, fuel was still far more expensive in Bowen than it was an hour down, or up, the road,” Mr Last said.
“It used to be the case that you had your ‘local’ service station that you always used but these days people really do need to shop around.
“People need to vote with their feet or, in this case, their tyres, because competition for customers is one thing that definitely influences the prices that are charged.”
Mr Last said the introduction of real-time fuel price monitoring had been an asset for motorists looking to get the best deal and had since created more competition.
“The LNP fought for real-time price monitoring in Queensland and, when Labor caved in to our demands, it provide a great resource to help people save,” he said.
RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said they were very pleased, after many years of lobbying, the current Queensland Government and the opposition “finally” supported the RACQ’s call for the introduction of mandatory fuel price reporting and the program was introduced in December 2018.
“Prior to this, for many years both Labor and LNP Governments had ignored RACQ’s calls for the introduction of mandatory fuel price reporting,” she said.
Ms Smith said that Bowen’s higher fuel prices compared to Ayr or the southern Whitsundays was attributed to a lack of competition in the area.
“Improving competition is key to cheaper fuel prices across Queensland, and that’s why it’s so important motorists give their business to the sites offering the lowest price,” she said.
“Drivers should use comparison services like RACQ’s Fair Fuel Finder, to locate the best deals near them.”
Statistics provided by RACQ revealed at the time of publication Bowen’s fuel prices were about five cents more per litre than Ayr or the southern Whitsundays.
AVERAGE PRICE AT TIME OF PRINT
Ayr – 107.1cpl
Bowen – 111.9cpl
Whitsunday/Proserpine – 106.2cpl