Drivers could be spared price hike

Callum HunterSouth Western Times

Bunbury seems set to be spared a major spike in fuel prices as prices in Perth soared this week by up to 33c a litre.

FuelWatch issued a warning for motorists on Monday about the expected price hike, although manager Ben Dereckisaid Bunbury drivers should not have much to worry about.

“Generally speaking, petrol price movements in Bunbury tend to lag behind Perth by up to four weeks,” he said.

“Bunbury doesn’t have a price cycle, no regional areas in Western Australia outside the metro and Mandurah area do, so you don’t have to worry about this happening down there unless the retailers decide in a change of strategy.”

The difference between Perth’s cheapest and most expensive fuel on Tuesday was 37c a litre which would cost motorists an extra $22 on a 60l tank of fuel.

While Bunbury may have been spared the sudden, wallet denting 33c a litre increase, Mr Derecki did not rule out a price increase of some sort in the South West over the coming weeks.

“Recent upward movements in the international benchmark price for ULP has seen prices in Perth start to increase, so in the short term we would expect Bunbury prices to increase,” he said.

Bunbury’s fuel prices were put under the microscope last year after an investigation by MLA Don Punch, who raised the matter in State Parliament and eventually Federal Parliament.

His push followed Bunbury’s prices being considerably higher than other regional centres including Busselton, Albany and Kalgoorlie, despite being closer to Kwinana.

“I have no doubt the public support my fuel petition which put suppliers on notice and let them know Bunbury people are watching for any unethical pricing practices,” he said.

“I will be continuing to monitor local fuel prices and compare them to other regional centres and I will continue to engage with Labor members of the Senate to call for an inquiry into the issue.”

In comparison to Perth which had prices approaching $1.60 a litre, the average fuel price in Bunbury on Tuesday was $1.38 with a margin of 4c between the cheapest and most expensive fuel.

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