Join Date: May 2001
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Holiday bonus for petrol companies
Surprise, surprise - the price of petrol rises for school holidays.
Article from the Daily Telegraph.
FAMILIES travelling by car during the school holidays and long weekend face steep petrol prices, which hit a high for the year yesterday.
For the first time in two years the most expensive service stations in NSW are charging over $1 a litre.
Prices hit a peak of 101.2c yesterday, with the average cost across the metropolitan area being 94.6c – a jump of 7.2c since Monday.
At the start of September the average was down to 84.6c.
According to the latest figures, regional motorists are slugged an average 3.4c a litre more than Sydney residents, with Ulladulla, Parkes, Coonabarabran, Dubbo and Cowra among the most expensive centres.
Yesterday the north shore, northern beaches, the city and Campbelltown were the areas to avoid when filling up. The cheapest petrol was at Belmore – 84.9c a litre.
On September 24 one Sydney service station charged a whopping 107.9c a litre – rated by analysts as the highest for many years.
The Australian Consumer Association is leading calls to make oil companies justify the fluctuations.
"It's pretty hard to see how they could justify it jumping to $1 at this stage and staying there based on crude oil prices," ACA spokesman Norm Carruthers said.
Exactly. So what are ACA doing about it?
"That's what always happens on long weekends and school holidays. It's a pretty low way to treat consumers at a time when they are going to use more fuel."
Service stations and oil companies deny any link between prices and holidays, maintaining that market forces control the shift.
They argue the current pricing cycle – rising toward the weekend and then dropping – will inevitably coincide with vacations.
Mr Carruthers said instead of complaining many motorists were adjusting their habits and buying petrol on Mondays but breaking the $1 mark made people scream.
NRMA chief Rob Carter said the high prices will make it difficult for families going away over the long weekend and blamed the uncertainty surrounding the threat of conflict in Iraq for the rise.
"Motorists are now starting to feel the effects of the 'war premium' on the crude oil price," he said.
"If the situation deteriorates, the crude prices will continue to trend upwards and the cost of petrol could rise further."
Service Station Association acting chief Ron Bowden said NSW was in the grip of a petrol price cycle which the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission had examined.
"There is no intention by anybody to take advantage of special days. Because the cycle is happening every week there is always going to be coincidences," Mr Bowden said.
Caltex Australia spokesman Richard Beattie said linking prices with holidays was "misleading".
In a letter published in yesterday's Daily Telegraph Mr Beattie blamed market forces for the rise and fall of prices at the petrol pump.
BS. The price of a barrel of oil was around US$28.75 this morning, I've seen it as high as US$32 and petrol hasn't been this expensive. Blatant profiteering by oil companies.
Mr Carruthers urged motorists to shop around.
"We say be extra vigilant when finding garages around Sydney. It is worth going out of the way if you can save 10c a litre," he said.
Save 10c if you want half a tank of ethanol...
HOW WE ARE BEING RIPPED OFF WITH PETROL PRICES
North Shore: 97.4c
Northern Beaches: 97.2c
North West: 96.4c
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.