Tom Snowdon & Daryl Passmore, 01 March 2016

PETROL prices in Queensland remain at a 10-year low as the state’s peak motoring group vows to pump up the pressure for an investigation into the normally high fuel prices.

The low prices in Brisbane have continued to drop after first dipping below $1 a litre at the start of last week, according to RACQ data.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said some southeast Queensland service stations were now selling below wholesale price as the current pricing cycle shows signs of hitting its lowest point.

Figures from the motoring body show retailers were buying it from the terminal gate for about 96.6¢ while the average price at the bowser in Brisbane yesterday was 96.7¢. The last time the average petrol price fell that low was in July 2005.

“We’re not sure why service stations are keeping their prices lower than what would normally be expected for the bottom of a price cycle,” Ms Smith said.

“But it is great news for motorists filling up, with prices at a low we haven’t seen for 10 years.”

The current price in Brisbane is lower than other capital cities. Since 2009 Queensland’s average petrol price has been 3¢ higher than other states.

The State Government will host a “roundtable” summit tomorrow into why Queensland drivers are usually slugged more at the bowser than other parts of Australia. Ms Smith said the RACQ planned to step up pressure on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission at the summit to investigate the pricing anomaly.

“We continue to call on the ACCC to investigate fuel prices in Brisbane and up north in areas like Cairns where prices are far too high,” she said.

Minister for Energy Mark Bailey vowed to add his voice to growing pressure on the retail watchdog, explaining he has already asked the ACCC to conduct an “in-depth review of petrol prices in Brisbane and north Queensland”.

“The ACCC will be presenting their report of the study on the Darwin petrol market, so I’m looking forward to seeing those results and seeing what implications it could have for us,” he said.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims admitted Queensland fuel retailers had some explaining to do regarding higher petrol prices. But he fell short of committing to an investigation.

“We find it very difficult to get the companies to explain these things,” Mr Sims said.

“In the case of Brisbane, it just seems it is higher profits.”

Extracted in full from the Courier Mail.

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