Petrol Price Monitoring Shows Wide Discrepancies


Petrol price monitoring data released by the Australian Automobile Association highlights the wide discrepancy in petrol prices around the country. Release of the data coincides with the introduction (on August 1) of Federal Government petrol marketing reforms intended to reduce petrol prices and, in particular, narrow the gap between city and regional prices.


Executive Director of the AAA, Lauchlan McIntosh, said today that the data illustrated not only the difference in metropolitan and non-metropolitan prices, but also the considerable fluctuations in prices which occurred in many areas.


The monitoring was conducted from the beginning of April to late July and covered 100 locations in all states and territories.


The cheapest petrol during the period surveyed was in Warwick, Queensland, where the price went down as low as 53.6 cents per litre. The dearest was in Alice Springs, where motorists paid up to 86.9 cpl.


In NSW, Victoria and SA the minimum and maximum prices were all recorded in the capital cities, with prices ranging from 63.9 to 84.6 cpl in the Sydney metropolitan area, from 61.4 to 80.9 cpl in Melbourne and from 65.0 to 78.9 cpl in Adelaide. In WA the price span was from 65.5 to 78.9 cpl in the Perth metropolitan area, up to 82.5 cpl in Geraldton.


Queensland was the state with the biggest regional variation in prices, with a difference of 28.4 cpl between the lowest in Warwick and the highest in Townsville. The smallest variations were in the NT (9.0 cpl) and Tasmania (9.5 cpl).


Prices for all locations monitored are available at


Mr McIntosh said that deregulation and other changes to petrol marketing arrangements introduced by the Government should eventually lead to lower prices and smaller differences between city and regional prices. The AAA would step up its monitoring program to determine if this outcome was achieved.


"However, the reductions will disappear if a new tax is imposed on top of the existing fuel excise as part of the Government's tax reform package. It is to be hoped that the opportunity is taken to replace the inequitable fuel excise regime with a road user charge, as proposed by motoring organisations," Mr McIntosh added.


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