Passing on fuel costs to customers? Local tradies don’t have the same luxury.

NQ Plumbing and Drainage director Rhys Hansen said the fuel increase cost an extra $500 a week for his business across a fleet of eight vehicles.

“You just can’t put up your price for no reason,” he said.

“And I know fuel is a reason to put it up but I don’t know how to pass it on without losing customers.”

Mr Hansen did not believe switching the fleet to electric would be viable considering the business serviced as far as Mount Isa, which was 900 kilometres west of Townsville.

Herbert Federal MP Phillip Thompson said the livelihoods of 28 local families were connected to the Hansens’ businesses and would be impacted by cost of living pressures such as rising fuel costs.

He said the short-term solution was to cut the fuel excise which would offer relief of at least 25 cents per litre. That was temporarily legislated when the former Morrison Government was in power, but the relief expired.

“Times have changed, wars have continued, we’re seeing what’s happening in the Middle East right now,” Mr Thompson said.

“But that means you need to pivot and change and adapt to your policies.

“But you can’t adapt to a policy if you don’t have one.

“And that’s why this Prime Minister needs to talk to the Australian people.”

RACQ’s most recent quarterly report said fuel prices in most main regional centres in Queensland including Townsville and Charters Towers were lower than Brisbane, while Longreach sold the most expensive fuel, followed by Mount Isa.

Townsville’s unleaded fuel increased almost 30 cents to reach $1.98 in September, with diesel increasing almost 40 cents to $2.14.

Charters Towers average unleaded fuel reached $2.02 in September while diesel reached $2.17.

Fuel was projected to increase even further in regional Queensland in the next three months.

“This is based on the current production restrictions by Saudi Arabia and Russia remaining in place,” the report said.


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