Kimberley Vlasic, 13 April 2016

FRUSTRATED Cairns motorists are boycotting service stations that charge “exorbitant” prices for fuel in an impassioned show of people power.

White Rock school bus driver and administrator of the “Cairns Fuel Price Ripoff” Facebook page, Phillip Whykes, has urged the group’s 1500 members to steer clear of Shell service stations, claiming the chain raised the price of diesel to 122.9 cents a litre.

“We’re being blatantly ripped off,” he said.

“Prices down south around Innisfail are dropping, yet here in Cairns – nothing.

“They stick to the one price and with Shell now putting their diesel price up, there’s just no justification for that.”

Mr Whykes started the Facebook page about eight months ago in response to what he called “exorbitant” fuel prices in Cairns.

He hopes the boycott will force Shell to drop its prices.

“The politicians, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – no one’s trying to find out why they are colluding and ripping us off, so we’ve only got one choice left and that is to boycott service stations,” he said.

“We don’t want our fuel for nothing, we just want a fair go.”

A spokeswoman for Shell’s supplier, Viva Energy Australia, blamed retailers for any price discrepancies.

“Viva Energy doesn’t set the retail price of fuel, the wholesale price of fuel is transparent and updated five times a week on our website,” she said.

Viva’s Cairns terminal gate price was last night 94.13c for diesel and 101.7c for unleaded.

RACQ yesterday considered a fair price in regional areas to be 106.4c for diesel and 114.2c for unleaded.

But Cairns motorists were yesterday paying an average 120.2c for diesel and 121.8c for unleaded.

Extracted in full from the Cairns Post.