Sydney motorists paying more for petrol

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TAGS Petrol prices Sydney motorists paying more for petrol

4 January 2016 by Matthew Benns · News Community Newspapers

Sydney petrol prices have been shown to be 8c a litre more expensive than Melbourne.

Sydney motorists have been slugged an extra $470 for petrol over the last five years compared to Melbourne drivers.

Motorists are also paying an extra 8c a litre for fuel because greedy petrol companies have failed to pass on savings in Singapore's wholesale prices — a fuel gouge adding up to almost $250 a year for the average Australian family.

"Petrol prices go up like a rocket but come down like a feather. It is a rort," Labor Senator Sam Dastyari said.

"Because motorists are paying less at the pump than this time last year they think petrol has come down in price.

"They don't realise the petrol companies are not passing on all the savings. Just like with credit cards, it is simply gouging and Australian families are the ones being ripped off."

Based on an average car with a 60-litre tank being filled once a week, a typical family has been gouged almost $250 a year. Research by the parliamentary library shows the wholesale price for unleaded petrol in Singapore, which sets the benchmark price for Australia, has fallen by 25 per cent in the last two years. But the price at the pump in Sydney has only dropped 10 per cent.

When prices in the last five years soared to highs of almost $1.50 for 95 unleaded petrol, fuel companies passed on the full increases immediately.

Over the last five years the typical Sydney motorists has paid almost $470 more than someone driving the same car in Victoria

"This is not the behaviour of just one fuel supplier, this is appears to be the industry as a whole," Mr Dastyari said. "It is cartel-like behaviour".

The research also shows Sydney motorists are being harder hit than those in Melbourne with the price at the pumps here on average 6c a litre higher. Over the last five years the typical Sydney motorists has paid almost $470 more than someone driving the same car in Victoria.

When prices in the last five years soared to highs of almost $1.50 for 95 unleaded petrol, fuel companies passed on the full increases immediately.

Rod Sims, chairman of The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said: "These figures are consistent with our findings that prices in Sydney are about 7c higher than they should be."

He said prices in Melbourne are cheaper because fuel companies reacted to ACCC legal action: "We took petrol companies to court in Melbourne. We could have taken that ­action in any city in Australia."

Caltex Australia spokesman Sam Collyer said: "The repeated conclusion from extensive analysis by the regulator is that Australia's retail petrol prices closely track the price of Mogas 95 (the Singapore benchmark). This is the case when prices are going up and when they are coming down."

Prices pumped up

25% - Amount price of benchmark Mogas 95 in Singapore has dropped in the past two years10% - Amount Sydney prices have dropped over the same period8c - According to Parliament Library research and the ACCC that means Australian motorists are paying 8 cents a litre more than they should be$250 - In an average family car, filling up a 60 litre tank once a week, that equates to almost $250 a year

Average metro fuel prices

October 2015Sydney: 132.9Melbourne: 123.1November 2015Sydney: 130.4Melbourne: 125Source: Australian Automobile Association

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