Major Petrol Retailers Gouging Motorists


The peak national motoring organisation, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has expressed concern that motorists are being gouged by increasing petrol price margins as major fuel retailers eliminate competition in key metropolitan and regional markets.

"It's deeply concerning that, this election campaign, politicians have ignored one of the major cost of living pressures for families in regional areas," AAA Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

"Our analysis shows families in regional towns are being particularly hard hit and it appears major retailers have increased petrol price margins in a number of city and regional markets where there is less competition," Mr McKellar said

"Fuel remains the top concern in terms of motoring costs and many motorists are suffering as retail margins increase," he said.

The AAA has released new analysis which shows there have been steep increases in petrol price margins over the past six years. The largest increases have been recorded in regional markets including Darwin and regional NT; Perth and regional WA; Hobart and regional Tasmania; and Canberra (see attachment).

"Motorists in many of the worst affected areas are paying significantly more for petrol than they should be. We are concerned that this is a result of a lack of competition," Mr McKellar said.

"The large and sustained shopper docket discounts on fuel in recent months are doing nothing to curb the cost of motoring with almost half of all motorists acknowledging that these discounts are not saving them any money," Mr McKellar said.

"We are calling on the major parties in this election to say how they plan to address decreasing competition and rising fuel prices," Mr McKellar said.

"It is time a comprehensive review of the fuel market is undertaken to get to the bottom of why Australians are paying too much for fuel and the ACCC must be given the powers they need to enforce effective competition," Mr McKellar said.

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