Cash-strapped motorists would be saved from massive fuel price increases if the state government intervened and banned fuel companies from taking advantage of them, the RACQ has declared.

For the first time, the state’s peak motoring body has demanded Premier Steven Miles follow other states and intervene to ban fuel giants from hiking prices more than 5c per litre per day.

In the 24 hours to Thursday morning, Brisbane prices had soared by about 40c a litre.

The RACQ told The Courier-Mail Mr Miles must intervene and legislate to end the sudden and dramatic petrol price spikes.

RACQ economic and affordability specialist Ian Jeffreys said Queensland motorists were being unfairly targeted by fuel corporations as consumers get used to high prices.

“There’s no good reason, no structural reason why this should be increasing, oil prices are trending down,” he said.

“Consumers have got used to high prices … fuel companies are taking advantage of that expectation and pushing the price up.”

Dr Jeffreys said the state government should apply a light touch and legislate to prevent service stations in Queensland from hiking the fuel price more than 5c per litre per day.

“We’re calling on the state government to consider options to limit peak and average fuel price increases,” he said.

“Our preferred option is to set a maximum amount by which retailers could raise prices on one day, such as 5c per litre plus any change in the wholesale price.

“This would bring an end to the sudden and dramatic spikes we currently see in the south east, allowing motorists to plan purchases around a more measured increase in prices.”

Deputy Premier Cameron Dick on Friday said the government was unable to act on the RACQ’s proposal.

“The state doesn’t have the legislative or constitutional authority to regulate prices but our view is this; the big oil companies should be giving Queenslanders a break,” he said.

“We know Queenslanders are hurting because of national and global cost of living pressures and so we call on Queenslanders to do whatever you can to shop around to use those fuel saver apps to make sure you can get the best possible price for fuel.

“We’re calling on those big oil companies, please give Queenslanders a break and give them a chance when we know cost of living pressures are hurting.”

Unleaded petrol prices jumped from a low of 179.9c per litre on Wednesday to 229.9c per litre on Thursday.

Fuel companies are pocketing a record 56c per litre sold to motorists, which Dr Jeffreys labelled “unacceptable and unjustified”.

He argued the price of fuel should be 20c cheaper, and noted the 56c-per-litre margin was significantly higher than the 36c-per-litre margin a year ago.

“We’re incredibly concerned by these high margins, particularly when cost-of-living pressures are already hurting Queensland motorists,” he said.

Premier Steven Miles is expected to slash car registration and licence fees.

He said Tuesday’s state budget would deliver at least one more big cost-of-living initiative, but refused to be drawn on whether motorists would benefit.

“You’ll see what initiatives we’re bringing to address cost of living in the budget on Tuesday,” he said.

Extracted in full from:  https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/queensland/qld-budget-2024-steven-miles-urged-to-intervene-on-petrol-price-gouging/news-story/e6416ad61bf56d9cf273dcde8b1e2c95

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