STATIC high petrol prices are “killing” the taxi industry, according to one Northern Territory driver.

Mick Sebbens, who has been driving cabs on and off for about 30 years, believes the high cost of fuel is unsustainable for Darwin drivers.

“It’s killing us drastically and cutting into our commission,” he said.

“We’re struggling to manage now just because of the wet season, let alone the cost of fuel.”

He said he was “flat out struggling” to take home even $300 a day, before tax, averaging about $200.

The taxi industry in Darwin works by drivers and companies splitting the fare 50/50.

Fuel is taken out before the split, meaning if drivers made $300 in fares in a day, but had to spend $50 on fuel, they would only take home $125.

“I work seven days a week and I’ve got to fill up for the night driver each night. We’d be paying upwards of $550-$600 a week between two drivers, just on fuel,” Mr Sebbens said.

When fuel has been cheaper, two drivers have shared the cost of about $300-$400 a week in fuel.

In the past week, the average price of fuel in Darwin has varied by less than one cent. For the past six days, since the MyFuelNT website launched, almost every petrol station in the Darwin area has sold Unleaded 91 fuel for 139.9¢/L.

Mr Sebbens said while the new website – which is updated whenever a petrol station updates its prices, was good for drivers – it was also “risky”, as stations could keep prices consistent.

Extracted from: NT News

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