As fuel prices continue to surge, rural crime investigators are warning landholders to be vigilant after seeing an increase in the resource being stolen from properties and from vehicles.
Reports of fuel theft, particularly diesel, have doubled in New South Wales for the period from January to May.
Detective Chief Inspector Cameron Whiteside said thousands of litres had been stolen in some incidents and he attributed the rise to the high cost of fuel.
In some towns like Narrabri in the state’s north-west, diesel is as high as $2.48 and $2.18 for unleaded.
“It is concerning and we believe that because of the price increase of diesel and fuel that it is more attractive to steal and the old risk-versus-reward situation,” Chief Inspector Whiteside said.
“[The 1,800L] was actually inside a fuel tank that was taken and dumped near Elsmore in the New England District.”
Detective Chief Inspector Whiteside said the thefts were a mix of organised and opportunistic crimes and, in some cases, were as little as 10L of fuel taken from utes.
He encouraged farmers to check fuel supplies were as secure as possible and to report incidents to authorities.
“The reality is fuel theft is one of the most common type of theft on farms and it can be avoided by some simple preventative strategies … that could be as simple as locking tanks.”
Rising fuel costs will see beekeepers exit
Doug Somerville is a former technical specialist with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and has also chaired industry research groups.
While apiarists are focused on the eradication of varroa mite, Dr Somerville said it was the increase in fuel prices that could see beekeepers forced to leave the industry.
“I think varroa mites could be just part of a bigger story in relation to [the] cost of production,” he said.
Dr Somerville said fuel prices could see producers thinking twice about their viability.
“If you add varroa [mites] to that mix as well, that could well tip the balance for some producers to decide to exit,” he said.
Some beekeepers say the cost of fuel on top of varroa mite could see them exit the honey industry.(Supplied: Queensland Beekeepers’ Association )
Prices not dropping
With global pressures continuing, NRMA’a Bridget Ahern said prices were not expected to drop in the near future.
The conflict in Ukraine, COVID lockdowns in China and summer travel in Europe and America are all factors impacting the current market.
“It’s a very volatile global market at the moment,” Ms Ahern said.
“Since January we’ve seen a 60 per cent increase in prices globally, so that really just paints a picture of why prices here at home have gone up so much.”
Extracted in full form: Fuel thefts double on farms as prices remain high, landholders urged to lock up stores – ABC News