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ACT Fuel Watch fighting for fairer petrol prices

By Amy Birchall - 9 January 2015 31

Tired of paying more for petrol than their Sydney counterparts, a group of Canberrans are using social media to take the fight for fairer petrol prices into their own hands.

The group created ACT Fuel Watch, a Facebook page that monitors petrol prices in the territory and surrounds, on Sunday evening (4 January 2015). In just five days, the page has attracted over 10,000 likes (see below image) and is playing a role in helping to lower Canberra’s petrol prices.

ACT Fuel Watch

Ben from ACT Fuel Watch says that the motivation for starting the Facebook page was to “have a crack at social change and help families”. He says the page is not affiliated with any service station, or with Costco.

“Outside of Canberra, there’s a perception that we’re all wealthy public servants with too much time off, however, a lot of people here do it tough,” he says.

“In Canberra, petrol prices were going to be kept high until they were pushed. Consumers needed to start demanding lower prices.”

It’s certainly a timely endeavour, as NRMA told media on Wednesday that Canberrans should be paying just over $1 a litre for petrol. Currently, Canberrans pay up to $1.34 per litre.

Ben’s advice to motorists is to fill up on Saturdays, and to fill up at petrol stations offering the cheapest fuel (ACT Fuel Watch publishes a list of Canberra’s cheapest and most expensive servos each day).

“Research has shown than Saturday is the day that most people fill up, and it’s also the day that they fill up with the most petrol. What I’d like people to do is to head to the better value suppliers that offer the cheaper fuel, which will limit the business going to more expensive stations,” he says.

“Tomorrow is an opportunity where people aren’t rushing, they’re not in a hurry to get to work, and so it’s easier to drive to Majura or Fyshwick or even Queanbeyan, where the average price of fuel is lower.”

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31 Responses to
ACT Fuel Watch fighting for fairer petrol prices
dungfungus 1:36 pm 19 Jan 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

If you can’t make back the $60 membership fee within a year of fuel savings then you don’t use enought fuel to be concerned about the price anyway.

Do you recall Joe Hockey saying poor people use less petrol? There are a lot more poor people in Canberra than is generally estimated.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 12:09 pm 19 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

If you can’t make back the $60 membership fee within a year of fuel savings then you don’t use enought fuel to be concerned about the price anyway.

Reprobate 11:32 am 19 Jan 15

Interesting to see the current terminal gate pricing for Mobil here: http://apps.exxonmobil.com.au/apps/htm/mn_mobil_products_automotive_pricing.asp

It has been widely speculated that Costco is currently selling fuel at a loss in Canberra (93.7 c/L on Sunday 18/1) and this pricing would bear that out, especially adding on transport, staffing and land costs. Average Sydney fuel prices are within 6c/L of that gate price. However the gate prices also show that most Canberra servos are having a lend of motorists when they are selling ULP for 20c/L above the gate price. There is no way – and this is supported by historical pricing differentials – that it costs around 15c/L to transport petrol under 300km down the road. Remember that the exact same Mobil fuel that Costco use is also supplied here to 7-11 servos, yet costs 20c/L more for you to buy.

Interestingly enough, ACT Fuel Watch shared a pic of a servo in Young yesterday with price boards of around 104c/L for ULP…

Holden Caulfield 10:25 am 19 Jan 15

Did my own research on the fuel source:

http://www.costco.com.au/Common/Faq.shtml

“Currently Costco sources its quality fuel from Mobil which is specified to meet Australian Standards.”

Holden Caulfield 10:19 am 19 Jan 15

For the fuel snobs among us (1st choice BP, 2nd choice Caltex, 3rd choice – see previous) do we know who supplies the fuel to Costco?

watto23 9:59 am 19 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

its $60 pa – you would probably save that in 3-4 tanfills – providing Costco maintain this petrol pricing discounting and it won’t evaporate over time.

Plus you get access to Costco’s store.

Would make sense if you lived out that way and shopped at Costco anyway. If enough people buy Costco’s petrol, it will send a message to the other oil/petrol companies – but that probably won’t get past South Canberra and Fyshwick unless Costco petrol opens up further afield – like Tuggers and Belco, etc. So, its not only about the savings per customer.

I think the 3-4 tank-fills will have to be obtained in the next few days then as there are indications that prices for petrol will go up nationally by .10c a litre this week and the discount wars will be over.
BTW, Costco isn’t cheaper on the aggregate but they do have a lot of variety.
One annoying thing is that you can find something exclusive to them which is fantastic but when you go back 6 months later to get a re-supply they tell you that that are not getting that line again.
I have found that frozen and cold food purchased there will defrost/spoil by the time one gets back to Tuggeranong.
Their churros are good.

I don’t know that the discount wars will end, because if it goes up 10cents you can be guaranteed they will all go up by 10c. I’ve seen fuel for $1.19 in Tuggeranong though, which is better than the $1.50 I was paying last year. IMO a 20c per litre difference means people will still travel out to costco and Woolies at Majura. If they bought that gap down to say 10c it becomes less of an enticement. I suspect though the current prices reflect the willingness to drive to Majura. It seems Tuggeranong residents are more likely to, as petrol in belco and gungahlin still seems to be higher. That doesn’t surprise me as I’ve found people north of the lake are the ones who bring up the north south of the lake argument and how its too far to drive south past the lake for anything!

dungfungus 11:25 pm 18 Jan 15

rommeldog56 said :

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

its $60 pa – you would probably save that in 3-4 tanfills – providing Costco maintain this petrol pricing discounting and it won’t evaporate over time.

Plus you get access to Costco’s store.

Would make sense if you lived out that way and shopped at Costco anyway. If enough people buy Costco’s petrol, it will send a message to the other oil/petrol companies – but that probably won’t get past South Canberra and Fyshwick unless Costco petrol opens up further afield – like Tuggers and Belco, etc. So, its not only about the savings per customer.

I think the 3-4 tank-fills will have to be obtained in the next few days then as there are indications that prices for petrol will go up nationally by .10c a litre this week and the discount wars will be over.
BTW, Costco isn’t cheaper on the aggregate but they do have a lot of variety.
One annoying thing is that you can find something exclusive to them which is fantastic but when you go back 6 months later to get a re-supply they tell you that that are not getting that line again.
I have found that frozen and cold food purchased there will defrost/spoil by the time one gets back to Tuggeranong.
Their churros are good.

rommeldog56 7:57 pm 18 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

its $60 pa – you would probably save that in 3-4 tanfills – providing Costco maintain this petrol pricing discounting and it won’t evaporate over time.

Plus you get access to Costco’s store.

Would make sense if you lived out that way and shopped at Costco anyway. If enough people buy Costco’s petrol, it will send a message to the other oil/petrol companies – but that probably won’t get past South Canberra and Fyshwick unless Costco petrol opens up further afield – like Tuggers and Belco, etc. So, its not only about the savings per customer.

Pork Hunt 7:22 pm 18 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

Always wondered how that business model was embraced by Australians without a whimper. Equally surprised WW/Coles haven’t adopted it in their insane greed for profits…

goggles13 7:18 pm 18 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

it’s not a good equation if you only fill up once, but I suspect that most will need to fill up more than once in a calendar year, which is how long the Costco membership lasts for.

dkNigs 7:15 pm 18 Jan 15

dungfungus said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

You do realise if you’re saving $20 a tank, it only takes three tanks to make your money back?

dungfungus 3:06 pm 18 Jan 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

When you say “people” do you mean non-Costco members?
You do realize that they will have to pay $60 to join up so they can save $20.
That’s not a good equation is it.

rommeldog56 12:11 pm 18 Jan 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

Yep – easy to whine but harder to take action – particularly if Costco is out near the airport. What is needed is a Costco fuel outlet in Tuggers and Belco too (not Gunners though – they will not need petrol when the Light Rail arrives !).

I have ditched Woolies and Coles for both shopping and petrol – I now get my petrol from United at Fyshwick. Filled up with 91 RON there yesterady – 119 cents per litre normal price. Not as good as Costco – but at least my $ are not going to support the Woolies/Coles petrol pricing ripoff in Canberra.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:00 am 18 Jan 15

Until people start making the effort to go out to Costco to fill up, other service stations will not be motivated to change.

Fuel companies remind me of banks. Everyone hates them, but until people actually take action, nothing changes.

wildturkeycanoe 11:31 pm 09 Jan 15

Like this will help, it is still 133.9c/L for unleaded from Gold Creek all the way through to Holt as of yesterday afternoon and out at Costco down to 106.9c/L. Now that is a serious discrepancy that wouldn’t go unnoticed in Sydney, it’d be National News. Should I call a current affairs show to get things going here or will that do nothing except put our fair capital onto the TV screen for 10 seconds?
Honestly, fuel hasn’t moved by a cent since Christmas, be it Saturday, Monday or Wednesday. Apart from half the bowsers being out of action or the price advertising signs being conveniently out of order, little changes here except for our rates and utility bills.

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