City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor John Bowler has said the City will not be opening its own petrol station, after raising the possibility last month.
Mayor Bowler said while Kalgoorlie-Boulder residents were still paying significantly more than metropolitan residents for their fuel, it was not feasible for the City to run its own petrol station.
“City staff have investigated this possibility quite thoroughly, and completed a risk assessment on the proposal, and as much as I would like to see it happen and for us to provide cheaper petrol for our residents, the numbers just don’t stack up as a good investment for ratepayers,” Mayor Bowler said.
“The National Competition Policy also prevents Local Government competing with private enterprise for services in this space, and at the end of the day, it is not our core business to get into the fuel market.”
Mr Bowler said he felt the threat of a council service station may have helped lower the gap in petrol prices between Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Perth.
“When I first suggested the City consider its own station, local prices were a minimum of 20 cents dearer than Perth, but that has changed to the point that earlier this week, when the gap was less than 10 cents, and in many cases metropolitan prices were 10 to 18 cents higher than in Kalgoorlie-Boulder,” he said.
The Mayor said it was unusual for Perth prices to be higher and he did not expect that to remain, though he hoped it would.
“As a Council, we are better placed to advocate on behalf of our community, rather than competing with private enterprise. We will continue to lobby for more competitive fuel prices, and I encourage drivers to vote with their feet, and only buy from the cheapest petrol stations.
“The best thing we can do as a community is for everyone to go where the cheapest fuel is, it will force competition and drive down prices as the petrol stations will be pressured to drop their prices or start losing customers.”