HOBART motorists were slugged with the highest fuel prices for 10 months in December, forking out more at the bowser than anywhere else in Australia, according to a new report.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s December quarter report on fuel prices showed Hobart motorists paid 161.7 cents per litre of petrol in December — almost 20 cents more per litre than people in Australia’s five largest cities.

Hobart, Canberra and Darwin drivers paid more for petrol than people in major cities.

An ACCC spokesman today said Tasmanians were paying too much for fuel and encouraged people to shop around to encourage competition among petrol stations.

“Factors that may lead to relatively higher prices in Australia’s smaller capital cities like Hobart, Canberra and Darwin are similar to those factors influencing prices in regional locations,” the ACCC spokesman said.

“This includes a lower level of local competition, lower volumes of fuel sold, distance/location factors, and lower convenience store sales.”

Clark independent MHR Andrew Wilkie met ACCC chairman Rod Sims this week to encourage the body to act on the state’s “outrageous fuel prices”.

“I made it abundantly clear to him that Tasmanians are being blatantly ripped off and are mightily unhappy about it,” Mr Wilkie said.

“Mr Sims explained that the ACCC can monitor fuel prices but simply doesn’t have the power to intervene in the market. I find this absurd and will be lobbying the federal Treasurer to give the ACCC more teeth to step in and stop consumers being ripped off.”

The ACCC spokesman said: “We advise consumers to shop around and compare prices using available apps. For instance, the Gas Buddy app [on Tuesday] showed a 9 cent per litre difference between the highest and lowest priced retail site in Hobart.

“As more motorists use this information to their advantage, petrol stations become aware they need to be competitive on price to get business.”