Going up! Rising fuel costs batter grey nomad budgets

Published: September 12, 2021
high fuel prices

The high price of crude oil on international markets has helped throw the fuel budgets of many grey nomads thrown into chaos.

In Darwin, for example, average petrol prices have risen by 33 cents in the past year.  Motorists are currently paying around $1.51 per litre of unleaded petrol.

But, the ABC reports that – according to the latest data compiled by the NT Department of Treasury and Finance – four other capital cities had higher average prices in August.

The most expensive petrol was in Sydney, where drivers were paying an average of $1.58 per litre, followed by Brisbane, Hobart and Canberra.

Out of the cities though, the picture is even worse. According to the NT government data, petrol is $1.74 per litre in the Katherine region, and $1.89 in the Alice Springs region.

However, the blame for higher prices at the bowser are being squarely pinned on international factors this time around, rather than gouging by the fuel companies.

Last year in May, when Darwin’s fuel prices were just $1.21 per litre, Chief Minister Michael Gunner threatened new laws to reduce price gouging. Back then though, the margin between the wholesale and retail price in Darwin was 35 cents per litre — the second highest of all the capital cities.

But things have changed since then. The ABC reports that, for almost a year, the margin has been significantly lower, including last month when it was just nine cents — the second lowest in the country.

The Chief Minister used the latest figures to explain why the government has not yet proceeded with a legislated cap on retail fuel margins.

“Since I raised my concerns 18 months ago, retail fuel margins in the Territory have consistently been among the lowest in the country,” Mr Gunner told the ABC. “Unfortunately, prices are high across Australia right now because the price of crude oil is high … the higher prices aren’t specific to the Territory.”

Edon Bell, the operations manager at the Automobile Association of the NT, agreed international factors were the main reason Territory drivers were spending more on fuel.

And, he told the ABC that petrol bills would be even worse if the retail fuel margins had not fallen over the past year.

“That, to me, says that the fuel industry is playing their part,” Mr Bell said. “And if consumers generally are shopping around and ensuring they are looking at the best price of the day, that’s going to drive competition.”

  • How much did you pay for a litre for fuel the last time you filled up with either petrol or diesel? Comment below.
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Trinh & Dennis
4 months ago

Just recently in Adelaide and suburbs the price of ULP $1.69.9 a litre.

Yep, chew on that for awhile…wow,

4 months ago

High time to create bio fuel out of sugar cane

4 months ago

$1.77 standard unleaded in Melbourne today ..

Al Haynes
2 days ago

paid over $2.00 per litre for 95 petrol a few days ago in sydney. bloody disgraceful. just put in enough to ensure i could make it to another suburb where it was a more reasonable 1.70/ litre. variations in fuel prices is so rife, profiteering by the big oil companies. we need real action from politicians. i don’t begrudge paying a little extra in country towns but big city extortion within 50km of refinery is plain wrong. often timed price hikes of 20-40 cents per litre for typical pension days, long weekends etc.


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