CHOICE membership

Petrol prices


What about the ACCC ruling do you not agree with?


The ACCC makes no mention of ‘innocence’ just statement of fact.

‘Price cycles are the result of deliberate pricing policies of petrol retailers, and are not directly related to changes in wholesale costs.’ - ACCC

In some ways ACCC reports can be akin to watching a robbery and reporting how it went.


For now the Qld RACQ deal with PUMA is a winner. Enough so to make loosing a minor sporting contest with NSW an insignificant outcome. I was ready to walk away from RACQ prior to this change. It appears to be a genuine discount for now.

On the Friday before the school holidays starting 30th June the difference between our local Puma and city Brisbane 50km down the road was between 20c - 24c per litre more expensive in the big city! That is without discount! Typically we don’t see the same extremes in price swings with Puma and save at least 10c/l. You need to live local to know this though!

Without significant independent local fuel production and retailing to set a stable price for fuel it may be difficult to break the current business driven cycle. It’s unlikely the Govt will allow ethanol or any alternate fuel into the market excise free (battery cars the current exception). The Federal Government and much of our major road construction is heavily dependent on fuel excise income.

The USA responded to the most recent major crisis by ramping up production from domestic sources, most notably shale oil reserves. Environmentally expensive, but domestically low cost sufficient to undercut OPEC and push the USA to 100% self-sufficient. It cost OPEC volume and resulted in aggressive price reductions by global producers. Australia is too small a market and has too little domestic production to have an influence like the USA can. Our choice to fund government expenditures through fuel taxation adds an extra dimension.

Australia with massive natural gas reserves could have put more of our cheaper gas aside for domestic needs and continued the expansion of LPG power for the majority of our needs. The taxi industry in the past demonstrated just how much more economical this can be. Aston Martin and Porsche owners excepted, but then generally the cost of fuel is not significant compared to the other costs of these types of vehicles. And now of course there is a big fat tax on LPG!


OK, maybe I was being just a wee bit naughty with the description “innocent”. :slight_smile:

But since the ACCC claims to be monitoring changes in fuel pricing, we can only assume, from their total and complete lack of any action whatever, that they must’ve always found fuel price acrobatics to be completely - Innocent! :frowning:


Went for a little spin the other day and paid $1.99/L along the way for diesel … doesn’t sound excessive until you buy about 100 litres …


Get the point that some of us should not be complaining about the price and variability of petrol in the city when there are other places with only one choice and decision to make (tongue in cheek) - diesel or petrol? Sorry we closed at 6, but if you come back at 5 tomorrow?

As others have suggested by example competition does not always serve us well. There are too few business options, usually one or none in many regional locations.

Noticed even on the coast now diesel is right up there if not dearer than standard unleaded! It’s only the petrol prices that get the attention. Diesel should also be looked at more critically. Is retail diesel justifiably now in the same market as our domestic petrol supply and subject to wild cycles?


Have you considered trading the old diesel guzzler for a Tesla complete with optional solar array field rapid recharging (all things may be relative) system and (probably double B) trailer to haul it?


For a more practical solution you can buy today.
Perhaps a ‘pedalec’ is a more suitable option. That’s Qld for electric bicycle. You get a battery and 200W up to 250w of motor to use. Can also ride it on the footpath (qld) and don’t need a license.

So strap a single 300W PV panel to the school bag rack and you are all set. No wonder Tesla Motors is loosing money?

Feel the need for speed, style and European flair? ‘Reise and Muller’ or perhaps a Porshe? Almost?
Electric Bikes - Porsche inspired!
Mercedes appear to have had a go too and might lead the way if you are brand loyal.
Mercedes Bikes

There only remains a decission as to which brand and type of PV cell to go for. Choice had some advice on this in the green/solar power reviews. Don’t forget that spare battery pack for when the sun does not shine too bright. With a bike case you can even take it on the plane for free as sporting luggage. No more taxi fares or hire cars ever?


Admittedly this was the most expensive fuel we saw in a shade under 1600 km’s of driving yesterday … we bought only what we needed to get home :wink:


I remember those prices…can’t remember which business it was but Wycliffe Wells or similar rings a bell…maybe Wauchope but anyway that price difference out there always was a reminder to me of the inequity that distance imposes whether gouging or otherwise.


Could be Belyando Crossing? Only 300 km SW of Townsville, but the only bowser for 200km in any direction. Would you like a six pack with that?

Whether the prices are good value compared to elsewhere, it’s a difficult arguement for many out of the way locations. They may be the only business on the road or in a region. What is the true cost of being open from sun up till late 7days per week to provide services to limited passing trade?

Of greater concern for us is the uncompetitive pricing at high turn over highway service centres. With major national highways bypassing towns and regional centres, these are in a unique position. They provide convenience, and save time and mileage by avoiding detours into towns along the way?


Kulgera. While I don’t spend more than I need to, I much prefer dropping some cash in the territory rather than leaving it down south :wink: and it’s the best value in town - as you say, true cost of operation etc, they do operate long hours and provide a myriad of services and great meals - and have enough staff to manage it all, which can be tricky in such places. Thankfully for them, especially this time of year, the passing trade is not so limited - never ending convoys of terrorists, 'ahem tourists seeking the raw outback experience in their glammed up caravans and motor-homes with satellite TV. Head off 87 any distance and the price heads (much) further north …


We recently drove through part of Queensland and back to NSW. The price variation of petrol was quite staggering. In one area where we purchased petrol it was 5 cents cheaper than the other servos which were within a few kms. Yes, “watching a robbery” is a good way to describe petrol pricing.


Or in metro areas perhaps just big oils dependence on consumer apathy and enough customers having enough dollars in their pockets so it doesn’t matter to them so they are not fussed.

To wit: Yesterday in suburban Melbourne within a block of each other there were 3 servos, two posting $1.59 and one at $1.39. All three (Caltex, Shell, BP) had customers at their bowsers. :roll_eyes:


Obviously, there are still people who believe there is an intrinsic difference between the actual fuels, and the additives are really significant.


Or have fuel cards.

The Shell servo could be someone with a Coles shopper docket thinking they are saving money even though they will still be paying more than elsewhere even when the ‘discount’ is applied.


Apparently petrol is expensive …


Thanks for pointing that out. I might never have known if the ACCC had not reported it! :laughing:

While apples to kumquats and only 16 years and 1/2 a world offset, I remember 100LL aviation fuel in the US being about $USD1.65 gallon versus our $AUD 1.50-ish per litre of low quality 91 petrol.


It’s all relative. If one consumes or is that fill up on premium (rain) water like…

One could expect to pay a lot more than what the local servo is selling petrol.

Every time it rains, I am now going outside with my mouth open…so I can think about how much money I am saving. Maybe the savings can be used to fill the car.:wink:


It’s even lower quality 91 here - unsniffable/low aromatic that kills engines, apparently …

… last rain we had was back in April, 0.2 mm for the month. A little more back in March …