The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
Premier says it’s time to consider action on prices
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk is looking at a fuel price inquiry in a bid to ease bowser pain for motorists.
Brisbane drivers now face the highest petrol costs in the country.
Ms Palaszczuk told The Sunday Mail she will ask Cabinet to consider action to bring them down.
One option is to follow their Northern Territory counterparts who launched a fuel price summit which has helped transform Darwin from the most expensive to the cheapest city to fill up in less than 12 months.
Prices there have fallen by 21.5 a litre since the public investigation – diving more than three times faster than the rest of Australia.
And with Brisbane now taking over the unwanted title as the country’s pump price capital, the Premier is ready to act to ensure Queensland consumers get a fair go.
“I’m well aware of the pressures families are facing, including fuel prices. We know that the market determines prices, but we still need to be satisfied that those prices are fair and reasonable,’’ she said.
Receptionist Grace Ferrier, 20, who spends $100-plus a week commuting from her Samford home to work in Moorooka, said: “Fuel takes a large amount out of my budget. I would like to see the Government try to do something to bring prices down.’’
Ms Palaszczuk said action on the issue could involve “a parliamentary inquiry, or it could mean a fuel summit similar to that which occurred in NT”.
Yesterday, Brisbane drivers were forking out an average 142 a litre for unleaded while Sydney servos were charging 133 , Darwin 132 and Melbourne motorists were filling up at just 117 . Gold Coast consumers were being stung 143 , those in Townsville 144 , Rockhampton 145 and Cairns 148 .
Geoff Trotter, general manager of price monitoring group FUELtrac, said with terminal gate prices at 112 yesterday, southeast Queensland motorists should be paying 126 based on traditional margins.
Mr Trotter said the Darwin experience showed that government scrutiny and intervention worked and Queensland should follow suit.
“The Northern Territory government hauled the companies in to a public hearing and read them the riot act,” he said. “Within a week, prices dropped 10 a litre, and they have kept falling.’’