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19 February 2011

Motorists lose out in fuel war as petrol companies continue to gouge drivers: RACQ report

IPSWICH motorists paid an average of 10 cents a litre more for unleaded petrol in 2010 than they did the previous year, a report by the RACQ has shown.

Justin Collet fills up his car with unleaded petrol at Kangaroo Fuels at One Mile.

IPSWICH motorists paid an average of 10 cents a litre more for unleaded petrol in 2010 than they did the previous year, a report by the RACQ has shown.

The peak motoring body's 2010 Annual Fuel Price Report shows Ipswich prices for standard unleaded averaged 128 cents per litre – eclipsing the state average by one cent per litre.

Diesel also came in at 128 cents per litre, but was only 0.4 above the state average and 6.3 cents a litre more than the 2009 average for the city.

Once again there was little the lowly consumer could have done to stop the price rise, with RACQ public policy executive manager Michael Roth pointing to higher world oil prices and the improving world economy as the main cause.

"We are still lucky in Australia though – our dollar moves in line with oil prices so petrol price rises are a lot slower than they are in other countries," he said.

The bad news is that as the global economy continues to recover, the price of oil will also continue its climb.

The one thing Ipswich consumers can do to keep fuel retailers honest is shop around, with Mr Roth noting that competition was a big influence on the disparity in fuel prices across the state.

Toowoomba petrol stations charged 3.4 cents per litre less than Ipswich for unleaded last year because retailers were competing to attract high volumes of freight and visitor traffic.

"People should look at the prices before they buy fuel and give their money to whoever offers the best deal," he said.

"Don't just rely on your shopper dockets because if you use them at the wrong station, you'll end up paying just as much or more than you would have if you had shopped around."

Cheap spots

Unleaded 2010 average price

Toowoomba:

123.6

Bundaberg:

126.2

Townsville:

126.7

Diesel 2010 average price

Caloundra:

126.0

Brisbane:

127.7

More Consumer News: www.QT.com.au

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