News / Community / Business / 23rd June 2021
Independents the key to cheaper fuel
High fuel prices have always been a contentious issue in Coonabarabran, with even an NRMA spokesman this week expressing his shock at the varied price difference of local fuel.
NRMA’s Peter Khoury urged residents to protest the high prices by filling up at independent fuel suppliers.
On Tuesday, 15 June, the Coles supermarket-run Shell Express had unleaded fuel listed at $1.48 cents a litre, while the independently- owned Liberty Rural Service Station, in Charles Street was nine cents a litre cheaper at $1.39.
“Nine cents a litre difference is crazy in a small town like Coonabarabran,” Mr Khoury said.
“It just goes to show people should really do their research on the NRMA app before they fill up.”
The NRMA spokesman said, surprisingly, on average Gunnedah had the cheapest fuel in the area. But Mr Khoury suggested motorists not compare prices between different towns.
“Every town effectively controls its own market; don’t fall into the trap of comparing markets in different towns,” he explained.
“It (Gunnedah) is cheaper on average than even Sydney. It’s a good indication that each town is responsible for its own market.
“There’s a common misconception that the further west you go the more expensive fuel is.
“Distance is irrelevant, it comes down to towns that have more competition - and obviously towns with more independent stations - will drive the prices down.
“That seems to be the case with Gunnedah and its surrounds, there’s quite a few independents around.”
And the outlook for fuel prices are grim, with oil prices already at a 19-month high, Mr Khoury said prices are likely to continue to climb.
“Research prices, and plan long trips to fill up at the cheapest spots and
support the independents,” Mr Khoury advised.
Tony Bond, from Liberty Rural, said he was at a loss as to why the competition prices were so high. And he said to forget about the nine cents a litre difference in unleaded fuel, saying the big contrast was in diesel at almost 12 cents a litre difference.
“We’ve always been cheaper since we opened,” Mr Bond said.
“We get most of the locals and any of the travellers that have the NRMA app on their phone.
“I really don’t know why there’s such a big difference, no one has been able to explain that to us.
“It makes no sense really, we get our fuel from exactly the same place as the others.”