Just as the fight against the coronavirus is in our own hands, the same applies to local petrol prices.
People power is the best way to get fuel prices from what are the worst in more than half a century.
I don’t know if it’s the big fuel companies, their distributors or the local service station proprietors (sadly most are no longer locally owned) but between them we are being screwed. They are taking us for idiots and it’s time we fought back and the only way is to hurt them where it hurts the most; in their hip pockets.
I am now using the phone app Petrol Spy, which shows me every price for unleaded petrol in Kalgoorlie-Boulder; indeed all of Australia.
A quick glance this week shows the prices here range from 135.9c per litre at four service stations to 137.9. I’ll name the four cheapest because if we all go to them hopefully the others will come down and we will get a leapfrog effect that will see prices ratchet down. The four are Eagle at the corner of Wilson and George, the Puma stations at Maritana and Bourke, Maritana and Egan and in Boulder the United servo at Lane and Davis.
In Perth at the same time you can buy ULP north of the river for 103.9c, 94.9c on Canning Highway and to the east 86.9c on Great Eastern Highway at Guildford.
That difference is a farce and those who supply fuel here should be ashamed.
Talking of Great Eastern Highway, the new owners at the Yellowdine Roadhouse are having a go and for months now have had the cheapest prices between here and Perth. On Thursday it was 119.9c – a lot cheaper than here.
As well as apps such as Petrol Spy, you can go onto the WA government’s website at fuelwatch.wa.gov.au and find out prices in your area. In all these cases if your vehicle is diesel then those prices are also available with the press of a button.
There is of course the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which would love to prove collusion and market fixing by the big fuel companies and if they did the fines are enormous, erasing years of excessive profits from the likes of local motorists.
For a long time the differential between Perth and Kalgoorlie was 7 to 15 cents a litre but for months now it is 35 to 45 cents, and that is price gouging and taking us for granted.
Right now we can’t rely on the ACCC so people power is the only way; find out the cheapest price and only go there. We would only need to do it for a couple of weeks and the prices would start tumbling down. And if nothing else, I’ll bet there’s some fuel companies nervous reading this column.
Happy Easter and stay at home.