This week has seen a stunning turn of events on the ever-evolving Junee petrol scene.
The town’s fuel has gone from being significantly more expensive than its neighbours’, to the cheapest of the bunch.
As reported by the Junee Southern Cross, fuel was available for as little as 113.9 cents per litre this week, while Wagga’s cheapest was 122.
Locals were paying almost twenty cents per litre more a month ago.
A price drop of those proportions makes all the difference for many local businesses and that impact carries to ordinary people.
Those who travel to Wagga for work each day – a 76 km round trip – can expect to save about $60 per week on their commute alone.
Buying fuel is a need, not a want.
And in an era where families are increasingly sensitive to cost-of-living pressures, the price drop could not have come at a better time.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) often cites a lack of competition as the reason behind high prices in small and regional towns.
Junee was a major sufferer of this problem, with the town’s only service stations operating a duopoly.
But the duopoly is no more, with the low prices appearing on the back of Junee Fuels opening on Seignior Street earlier this month.
Suddenly, two service stations have turned into three and a fourth isn’t far off with United planning to reopen its Broadway site.
Junee Fuels opened with a bang, setting prices dramatically lower than the town’s existing benchmark and forcing its competitors to match.
Junee’s expensive fuel has long driven locals out of town in pursuit of better deals.
When people are leaving Junee to fill up, they’re likely to do their shopping out of town while they’re at it.
Plenty of Junee businesses stood to loose out under the previous pricing, and they stand to win following the drastic pricing turnaround.
It’s hard to accurately predict how long the prices will stay down.
If United closing their petrol station three weeks after it opened this year taught us anything, it was that the local service station scene is far from predictable.
But there’s never been a NSW town which hasn’t enjoyed long-term benefits from increased competition.
Extracted from Southern Cross