A very fluid situation
Petrol expensive? Here’s a list to put it in perspective, writes Neil Dowling
1. Water 0.1c a litre It comes in only one colour, is generally just a tap away and is so plentiful people even swim in it. But it won’t run your car. No option: the original drink and the best. 2. LPG 50c a litre Comes from the gassy part of oil production and Australia’s north-west is full of it. We can run the nation’s lightbulbs on the stuff but brown coal is still cheaper to burn. Doesn’t stop you putting it in your car. Ford and Holden this year make top-shelf LPG models. Options: petrol or brown coal. 3. E85 $1.10 a litre Bright yellow fields of canola and haybales of waste sugar cane gave up their lives for your margarine and now they’re doing the same for your fuel tank. Not the most common of fuels in Australia but undoubtedly clean. Options: petrol or butter. 4. Petrol $1.35 a litre Europeans pay $2-plus for their petrol (less for diesel) so they drive small cars. Given the enormous task of turning sub-sea oily sludge into 95 RON petrol, it’s cheap at (almost) any price. No option. 5. Milk $1.80 a litre Supermarkets are discounting this stuff in the same way they offer coupons for cheap petrol. Milk comes from cows— forget what the label says— that chew on grass. Where’s the difficulty there? Best option: tap water. 6. Coke $1.95 a litre It contains a sugar-drenched concentrate mixed with water and is the most profitable item sold by a service station. May be fattening but only if when you drink lots of it. Best option: tap water again. 7. Coffee $16 a litre Based on my coffee shop, which charges $4 for 250ml. It’s an experience that challenges taste buds and gives you a welcome kick. So it’s like petrol, then? No option. 8. Nail polish $1278 a litre Weeny bottles and pretty colours send girls ga-ga. Admittedly, the end result looks good but the cost— financially and its effect on overpowering a room — is huge. Option: Texta. 9. Chanel No.5 $1860 a litre Possibly the world’s most famous and best perfume but is expensive and rarely used for bathing. Apart from Castrol R smouldering from the exhaust of a big-bore two-stroke race bike, it is the most seductive fragrance in the world. No option. 10. Printer ink $6250 a litre You think nail polish comes in tiny doses? There’s about 13mL in a home printer cartridge and though most of the cost is in the packaging, there’s no doubt that it’s no cheap exercise. Option: a pencil.
Liquid gold: Thankfully, a drop of
printer ink goes a long way