Editorial - January 7: Petrol price spike fuels outrage

FEW consumer issues capture the public's ire like rising petrol prices, especially when the billboards show we are on the wrong end of a falling cycle.

We receive letters about hikes in grocery prices, electricity, water and rates and even complaints about the Advocate (which for many is free), but nothing gets readers screaming about a raw deal more than petrol.

The NRMA's findings that the Coffs Coast has the state's dearest fuel has become an annual December/January press release. Decades of lobbying still have not revealed what it costs to truck a fuel tanker to Coffs Harbour.

The ACCC says international fuel prices make up about 53% of the pump price, tax excise and GST about 36% and the cost of storing and retailing the petrol the final 11%.

The ACCC in August put a submission to the Federal Court suggesting retailers can subscribe to a service called Informed Sources to communicate about petrol pricing.

The ACCC alleges fuel retailers have used the service as a real-time communication device to nominate a price and monitor the response from competitors.

Why? Because even a one cent rise adds up to $190 million over a year. The hearing recommences next month.

Matt Deans,
Print Editor



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