Territory drivers have felt a reprieve at the pump as the NT average fuel cost has fallen closer in line with the other capital cities.
Statistics from the Australia Institute of Petroleum show the average weekly unleaded petrol price in the Darwin area was 133.7¢/l, just 3.6¢/l more than the Australian average of 130.1¢/l last week.
This is a dramatic drop from the 19.1¢/l difference between the NT and Australian averages seen since 2012 when Territory prices skyrocketed.
Automobile Association of the NT general manager Edon Bell said it was hard to predict if the prices would continue in line with the national average, noting the fuel summit in October last year and ACCC investigation have impacted on prices recently.
“What we saw post-summit was a very sharp fall (but) prices began to creep back up to record prices in January,” he said. “There are a range of factors involved so whether it will continue can’t be predicted.
“But is it a good outcome for the NT? Absolutely.”
The ACCC announced earlier in the month they would be investigating the cause of high petrol prices in Darwin, which Mr Bell said would answer a lot of questions
“There’s been a lack of clarity of what was driving fuel prices to go to those unprec-edented levels,” he said. “With (the ACCC) investigation we should have a clear understand of what is pushing prices up and the path forward.”
Chief Minister Adam Giles said there was still work to do on the issue.
“For too long the Territory’s petrol prices have stayed well above other jurisdictions and have been unresponsive to changes in the international oil prices,” he said. “It’s encouraging to see that changing in the wake of our fuel summit last year but there’s still work to do.”
While the NT average had fallen, Tennant Creek was still hit the hardest with prices at almost 30¢/l higher than the national average.
Alice Springs’ average was 138.9¢/l while Katherine sat just below Darwin at 133.4¢/l.
Last week the retail margins among the capital cities varied wildly, with Darwin falling in the middle with 9.2¢/l.
Melbourne drivers were the best off with only a 2.9¢/l margin and Adelaide consumers hit the hardest with a 12¢/l margin.
Extracted in full from Courier Mail.