[Umina] Fuel prices on the Peninsula were more than 50 per cent higher that prices at Tuggerah during a recent price drop in crude oil prices.
The Peninsula Unleaded 91 price dropped to 141.9 cents a litre, but prices at Tuggerah dropped as low as 88.9 cents.
Petrol prices on the Peninsula are consistently the highest on the Central Coast, often by more than 40 cents per litre.
Media manager Mr Murray Newton for Viva Energy Australia, which supplies the Coles Express service stations, was unable to give specific reasons for the price difference.
He said there were a variety of local factors that influenced the retail price of fuel including local competition and different pricing strategies.
“We endeavor to be competitive within our local markets and relative to our competitors,” he said.
Mr Newton said fuel prices in regional areas tended to be more stable than in cities where prices moved in cycles, yet, lower population areas with lower demand resulted in fewer outlets, leading to less competition.
Meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Association was monitoring fuel prices all over Australia to make sure recent falls in international crude oil and refined petrol prices were flowing through to consumers.
This followed a decline in the price of crude oil and refined petrol since early January and, in particular, sharp falls in crude oil prices last week, according to Commission chair Mr Rod Sims, in a media release on March 16.
“We will be looking at the market very closely to determine if further sustained reductions in international prices are being passed on to consumers, and we will be publicly identifying those retailers that are not passing on reductions.
“The Commission cannot control the petrol prices companies set but we can call out problematic price setting which can influence company behavior,” Mr Sims said.
The National Roads and Motorists Association spokesman Mr Peter Khoury said the public was losing patience waiting for the oil companies to do the right thing.
Inquiries were made at Caltex for information but they failed to respond.
Media release, 19 Mar 2020
Peter Khoury, NRMA.
Interview (Sue Murray), 23 Mar 2020
Media statement, 23 Mar 2020
Murray Newton, Viva Energy Australia.
Website, 26 Mar 2020
Rod Sims, ACCC
This article appeared first tin the print edition of The Peninsula News.