Fuel price frustrations

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasBusselton Dunsborough Times
Fuel prices in the Capes are, on average, thirty cents per litre more expensive than in Perth
Camera IconFuel prices in the Capes are, on average, thirty cents per litre more expensive than in Perth Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

The age old question of why such a great divide hangs over petrol prices between Perth and Busselton has risen again as metropolitan drivers have been gifted price drops as high as 30 cents per litre while South West motorists are still paying 40 cents more at the bowser.

As Perth people flock to petrol stations to pay as little as 85 cents per litre, those in Busselton and surrounds struggle to understand why the price remains about $1.30.

Carl Holroyd runs the Busselton Dunsborough Volunteer Centre and is concerned businesses relying heavily on fuel are not being supported by lower fuel prices.

“Businesses are struggling enough as it is with the affects of COVID-19 and this petrol price gouging in the region has been going on for far too long,” Mr Holroyd said.

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“The owners of these local service stations who have made their living for years in our community should show some compassion and respect for our community.”

However, FuelWatch manager, Ben Derecki said fuel prices in the South West, had decreased by 11.2 per cent since January 1, 2020.

“Petrol prices in regional WA, including the South West, are generally higher than in metropolitan Perth due to lower levels of competition and lower fuel sales volumes,” he said.

“Movements in the international benchmark price for ULP tend to take between one and two weeks to affect Perth prices and up to four weeks to affect regional WA.

“Due to Perth’s weekly price cycle, comparing South West petrol prices that do not cycle to Perth’s on different days of the week can be misleading.”

Last week the Federal Government called on fuel retailers to provide price relief for regional motorists.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said every motorist in regional Australia deserved price relief during the pandemic.

“With world oil prices plummeting to just over $20 per barrel, regional, rural and remote Australians must receive the benefits of lower prices at the bowser,” Mr McCormack said.

“The Federal Government will continue to watch the actions of fuel retailers in regional areas very closely and we encourage the community to name and shame retailers doing the wrong thing.

“Too often, regional motorists bear the brunt of higher fuel prices and I’m making it clear the Government expects retailers to make things right and pass savings on immediately.”

Attempts to get comment from several fuel outlets were unsuccessful.

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