TOWNSVILLE has “bucked the trend” when it comes to fuel prices.

The city’s petrol prices for unleaded have fallen slightly to 129 cents per litre, the RACQ has revealed.

This is the opposite to much of regional Queensland which saw prices rise last month.

RACQ spokeswoman Lucinda Ross said the city’s flooding could have been behind the fall, as retailers often did not increase their prices during natural disasters.

“Last month, as floodwaters receded in north Queensland, so too did fuel prices,” she said.

“Some servos were forced to close their doors due to electricity outages and road closures and those that remained open tended not to change their prices, despite the other global factors at play.”

Townsville Taxis has some of the cheapest fuel in the city. On Thursday unleaded was selling for 128.5cpl.

General manager Angela Rheeders said they tried to keep fuel as low as possible.

“Sometimes it’s not always easy to compete with the big guys but we do try,” she said.

About 100 people fill up at Townsville Taxis at Yeatman St, Hyde Park each day.

Ms Rheeders said a lot of people did not realise they sold direct to the public.

“It’s just another income stream, it’s not one of our main sources of income though,” she said.

Ms Ross said global oil prices recently reached a three-month high of US$66 a barrel.

“That’s chewed into retail margins so many servos across regional Queensland have hiked prices up to 10cpl,” she said.

“The good news for Cairns and Townsville drivers is these cities bucked that trend with indicative retail margins dropping by 4.8cpl and 3.9cpl respectively, since January.”

The FuelPrice Australia website shows Caltex Wulguru and Puma Cluden were selling the cheapest petrol in Townsville at $1.26cpl today. The average price was $1.29cpl.

In December the State Government’s two-year trial of fuel-price monitoring began in Queensland.

The trial means more than 1000 service stations in Queensland had to lodge their fuel prices through an online portal within 30 minutes of any price change.

Ms Ross said people needed to make sure they only supported service stations which charged the lowest prices in their area.

“We’ve seen Queensland’s fuel price reporting trial, which kicked off in December, is also helping to drive prices down as it’s generating high levels of competition among retailers in many markets,” she said.RELATED CONTENT

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said all but a handful of Townsville’s 47 fuel retailers were supplying their up-to-date fuel prices to our central data point.

“The availability of the free data has encouraged new online operators to service Queensland motorists,” he said.

“Eight apps or websites now allow motorists to find the cheapest servo in town, four of which are new to the Queensland market: RACQ’s Fair Fuel, Pumped Fuel, ServoTrack and Vroom Fuel Watch.”

Dr Lynham encouraged all North Queensland motorists to jump online before they got in the car and find the best deal.

“It drives competition if motorists use their purchasing power to reward the servos giving them the best deal,” he said.

Extracted from Courier Mail