Owner says ser­vos are strug­gling too

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

THE staff of ser­vice sta­tions cop the abuse while the oil giants and gov­ern­ments rake in the real cash, ac­cord­ing to Townsville in­de­pen­dent ser­vice sta­tion owner Soren Nannes­tad.

Mr Nannes­tad, who op­er­ates Shell Bel­gian Gar­dens, was com­ment­ing yes­ter­day as fuel prices hit record highs.

The RACQ re­ported yes­ter­day that un­leaded petrol prices in re­gional cen­tres, in­clud­ing Townsville, hit $ 1.60 a litre for the first time on the back of ris­ing oil prices and the fall­ing value of the Aus­tralian dol­lar against the US dol­lar.

But the RACQ also at­tacked “some ser­vos” for charg­ing ex­ces­sive mar­gins.

RACQ spokes­woman Lucinda Ross said Townsville driv­ers were be­ing “slugged at the pump”.

“While the ris­ing global oil price and soften­ing Aussie dol­lar is largely to blame for these prices, some ser­vos are charg­ing above what we think is fair,” Ms Ross said.

“There is a 7c per litre dif­fer­ence be­tween the cheap­est and the most ex­pen­sive fuel in Townsville so mo­torists need to let their purses do the talk­ing.

“It might not seem like much of a sav­ing but choos­ing the cheaper re­tail­ers will send a strong mes­sage to the oth­ers to com­pete for your busi­ness and can save your house­hold hun­dreds of dol­lars over the year.”

Mr Nannes­tad said some ser­vice sta­tions were cheaper de­pend­ing on the vol­ume they sold. The more vol­ume, the lower the mar­gin an op­er­a­tor could sus­tain.

He said ter­mi­nal gate pri- ces at Townsville had been hiked 4c in the past week.

“When the ter­mi­nal gate price goes up I have to pass the cost on,” he said.

Mr Nannes­tad said he felt for cus­tomers and tried to keep prices as low as pos­si­ble but costs such as in­sur­ance, coun­cil rates and elec­tric­ity were also “sky- high”.

“I don’t blame peo­ple for get­ting an­gry but don’t blame the peo­ple work­ing at the ser­vice sta­tion,” Mr Nannes­tad said.

“Peo­ple think ser­vice sta­tions must be mak­ing mil­lions.

“We are not mak­ing mil­lions. The Govern­ment and oil com­pa­nies are.

“We are at the raw end. We cop the abuse.”

Townsville Port un­leaded petrol ter­mi­nal gate prices yes­ter­day in­cluded Cal­tex: $ 1.52.34; BP: $ 1.53.01; and Viva En­ergy: $ 1.50.8.

The Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Petroleum re­ported an av­er­age ter­mi­nal gate price in Bris­bane yes­ter­day of $ 1.47.4.


HIKES BITE: Soren Nannes­tad, who op­er­ates Shell Bel­gian Gar­dens, says the big bucks aren’t flow­ing to ser­vos.

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