05 Jun State must step in on ‘roadside robbery’
After months of outrage in the outback, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter has called time on the obscene discrepancies between fuel prices on the coast and in the country.
Mr Katter has today written to Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham calling for government intervention in the sector to ensure regional, rural and remote Queensland were no longer disadvantaged.
As of today, a litre of unleaded petrol (ULP) is worth around 0.97c in Townsville, 1.09c in Charters Towers and 1.18c in Hughenden.
The best price you’ll get today in Mount Isa is 1.39c a litre, and up in Doomadgee you’ll pay 1.60c.
Mr Katter’s calls follow efforts by the Federal Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, who in recent months appealed to the Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about North Queensland’s outrageous fuel prices.
In their response, the ACCC expressed concern over the situation but advised their hands were tied until a breach of law had occurred.
This led the Member for Kennedy to call for an en masse boycott of Coles and Woolworths’ service stations due to their particularly high prices in regional towns across the North.
However Mr Katter Jnr has now decided it is time for the state to step in.
“For far too long regional, rural and remote Queenslanders have been paying a substantial amount more for fuel than the rest of the state, and the problem has only become more acute in recent months due to the dive in the price of oil as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Katter said.
“This matter is one of serious ire across the regions, and the dissatisfaction towards this is strongly felt in my home town of Mount Isa.
“Last month, the RACQ gave Mount Isa the title of the most expensive centre in regional Queensland to fill up the tank; this is not something we are impressed with, particularly in the light of the high levels of socio-economic disadvantage we face daily in this part of the state.”
According to RACQ’s Monthly Fuel Price Report for April, Mount Isa drivers paid an average price of 1.49c per litre for unleaded petrol.
At the same time and in comparison, fuel prices in Brisbane were hovering around the dollar mark.
Mr Katter said while he understood there were costs involved with freight and the transportation of bulk fuel to non-coastal communities, the current situation could not be justified.
“I simply do not accept an extra 40-plus cents per litre is reasonable or justifiable under even the most generous of profit margins,” Mr Katter said.
“We would like to see some attention on this by the State Government and would encourage any solution devised to involve the stimulus and growth of the local ethanol-fuel industry as this would greatly support local jobs and economies.”