Experts say that fuel prices in the Hunter didn’t go through the roof this Easter long weekend, as has been the case in past years, and that the cost of petrol will remain stable for the next week. Stable, but more expensive than Sydney.

The average price of unleaded fuel in the Maitland-Newcastle region was 133 cents per litre on Thursday, while the average cost in Sydney was 126 cents per litre.

That seven cents a litre difference adds up when you have to fill an entire fuel tank.

It is good news that prices are unlikely to rise in the next week.

But there is an injustice in the fact that people who live in regional and rural places, like Maitland, pay more for fuel than people who live in Sydney and its suburbs.

People who live in Sydney have access to far more frequent and diverse public transport options to get them around than their counterparts in regional towns.

For many who live in places like the Hunter, a car is the only reliable – sometimes the only available – mode of transport.

Not only that, but the distances are often greater for people in regional towns.

NRMA president Kyle Loades, a former Hunter representative, says that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is trying to get to the bottom of why petrol in regional places is apparently worth more than it is in the state’s capital.

This investigation has been ongoing for some time.

Let’s hope, if the ACCC finds that motorists in places like Maitland are being ripped off, it has the power to crack down on the industry.

Extracted in full from the Maitland Mercury.