Price gouging on the Tablelands
As a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, the price of oil around the world has dropped, the flow-on effect should have been a drop in the price of petrol across Queensland.
Some retailers in Cairns are selling fuel for less than 99 cents per litre; while some stations in Brisbane are down to 81 cents per litre.
The average price for fuel in Mareeba and Atherton is around $1.23 per litre.
Lauren Ritchie is the Manager Internal and External Communications for RACQ and says there are several reasons why the Tablelands hasn’t seen cheap fuel yet.
“There is no price cycle in Far North Queensland where fuel prices go up and down, in the Far North fuel prices are pretty static,” she said
“Another reason is retailers are price gouging, especially in areas where there isn’t a lot of local competition and they have a monopoly,
“Retailers are price gouging rural and country areas and not playing ball by passing on the discounts.”
Ms Ritchie says there is some good news on the horizon “we do expect fuel prices to keep dropping over the coming weeks.”
Hill MP Shane Knuth says it’s unacceptable that Tablelands residents are being charged so much more than Cairns and South East Queensland residents for the same fuel.
“Oil suppliers are now virtually giving their oil away as oil prices plummeted below US $0 from an oversupply due to COVID-19,” he wrote
“In response, Brisbane’s regular unleaded has dropped to 89.3 cents per litre with some reports of less than 80 cents,
“But in the Far North, we are still being ripped off with some fuel companies charging up to 130.0 cents per litre.”
Mr Knuth says that in the past when oil prices have risen, “within a split second bowser prices skyrocket, so you would expect, as oil prices plummet, fuel prices would drop instantly at the bowser,
“I have written to the ACCC to investigate but we are still waiting with bated breath.”