Ballina joins lower fuel price list

PETROL prices in Ballina are among the cheapest in the state according to a new website called Bowser Buster.

The website has been created by the NRMA to show which towns and suburbs have cheap petrol prices and which places are getting ripped-off.

Figures released every Monday morning will show the cheapest places to buy unleaded petrol out of more than 50 locations in NSW and Canberra.

According to the latest figures, the average petrol price in Ballina last week was 146.9.

This is the cheapest price in the state after Sydney on 143.1.

The low prices in Ballina are being viewed as a big turnaround by locals who have complained for years that it was cheaper to drive to Lismore and fill up than to buy petrol in Ballina.

Local petrol station owners were also surprised to find the town famous for its Big Prawn could now be famous for its petrol prices.

Shell River Street manager Josh Piercy said he believes pet- rol in Ballina is generally cheaper than in Lismore.

"Historically I believe Lismore used to be cheaper than Ballina but now we're the same if not cheaper," Mr Piercy said.

The River St store does not sell ethanol fuel, which Mr Piercy said is generally cheaper but some motorists believe it's not as efficient.

"Ethanol is the cheaper component that they mix with the petrol to make it a little cheaper," Mr Piercy said.

Casino was ranked at number five in the state, with an average price last week of 150.2.

The highest price in the state was Tumut on 160.2

The aim of the website is to inform consumers and help drivers plan their petrol stops.

NRMA president Wendy Machin said towns with more competition and independent retailers offer the lowest prices.

"The centres that consistently appear in the top 10 cheapest places to purchase unleaded include Albury, Ballina, Bulahdelah, Canberra, Lismore and Moama," Ms Machin said.

Centres that consistently ranked worse than 40th of the 52 centres monitored include Bega, Cooma, Cootamundra, Hay, Moree, Moruya, Mudgee, Temora and West Wyalong.

"Aggressive competition, old petrol stock brought at a higher or lower price and transport costs all play a factor in price setting," Ms Machin said.



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