Worry fuel prices may top $2/litre

Cattle buyer and carter Eliezer Robinson says fuel hikes will hit the prices of meat, milk and produce.
Cattle buyer and carter Eliezer Robinson says fuel hikes will hit the prices of meat, milk and produce.

YOUR family petrol bill could skyrocket by more than $2000 a year if fuel prices hit $2 a litre.

An NRMA BusinessWise study has shown families and businesses on the North Coast would be hit hard by rising fuel prices if unrest in Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Tunisia and Bahrain continued.

Political tension was forcing up prices in the oil-rich Middle East and having a local impact.

Kate Vickers, who lives at Nambucca Heads and works at the Coffs Coast Advocate, said petrol cost her $70 a week.

She said the bowser price at one Coffs Harbour outlet was $1.57 yesterday and if unleaded petrol rose to $2 a litre, it would cost her an additional $20 a week.

“I try to fill up at Woolies and use my Rewards card,” Ms Vickers said.

“The Pacific Highway outlets are dearer.”

She said if her petrol bill rose by $20 she would try to find savings.

“We might go to the movies less – that’s one of our favourite treats; look at our Saturday night take-away – or ask for a pay rise.”

The new owner of Bellingen Courier Service, Geoff Cavanagh, said his last monthly fuel bill had gone up $150.

He travels 300km to 400km a day, doing two daily runs between Coffs Harbour, Urunga and Bellingen, carrying everything from blood and pathology samples to parcels, vegetables and bird seed in his Iveco diesel van.

After wages, fuel is his biggest single cost, amounting to about $800 a month.

“We are trying to keep prices down,” Mr Cavanagh said.

“Things are that tight every little thing makes a difference.

“If it gets too hard we might have to look at putting our prices up.”

Cattle buyer and carter Eliezer Robinson said farmers were already beginning to grumble about rising freight prices for cattle, with the cost of taking ‘sheep vanner’ calves from the Coffs Coast to fatteners at Wodonga rising to $35-$40 a head or up to $6800 for a B-double holding 170 head.

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