7 April 2006

Petrol hike - it sucks!

| kimba
Join the conversation

I have been thinking about the corrupt and extortionist practices of the big oil companies. They raised fuel prices in Canberra by 10-12 cents a litre just before the Canberra Day long-weekend and have done it again (even more) this week as we lead into the Easter Break and school holidays.

They have us by the balls so it is stupid to say we should boycott buying fuel (sounds like something Deb would suggest) but why not boycott buying other products from service stations like your fags, ice creams, coke, magazines etc. These items are also always hiked-up anyway. Take it further…why not boycott buying oil and other car related products. Hit them where it hurts so they can place pressure on the big oil companies.

What do you think?

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Ah – we’re arguing apples and oranges. You’re saying it’s a good perk for you (it is – if I did that much driving, I’d package too). I’m arguing it’s bad public policy (which I maintain).

Midnitecalla – you could set up packaging for yourself and your employees if you wanted to. It’s not a public service perk.

midnitecalla10:28 pm 11 Apr 06

be thank ful that you are a commonweath employee
and shelterd cos its cold and hard out here !

like i said it shows arrogance perks or not.

having been a “com employee” my self then having to work in the private sector building up a buisness paying more than my fair share of taxes supporting “shiny bums”

most who wouldnt work in an iron lung in the private sector, getting to ferry family around on my tax dollars and those cushy perks. if you cant get good workers here is my answer: fire them not coddle them.they are as valuable as a hole in a bucket full of water.

no matter how much bleating goes on not all out there think that packaging is appriciated/ admired and or a social status item.

Its not the economic benefits to the industry that is the real point of packaging anymore. Its a financial ‘bonus’ if you will that, in addition to wages, attracts and retains staff.

My reasons for packaging are, in all honesty, all about me and my family, not the greater good I’m sorry…despite what benefit to local businesses my packaging allows (even though it is minor).

FBT exemptions on public transport is irrelevant for me as a 24/7 shiftworker. Again public transport is a state/territory responsibility so your point is again moot I’m sorry.

It is a perk of my job. Many jobs have others and probably better than mine. I’ll take whats available

VG, I have a passing familiarity with the way government works, and yes – I am being a tad naieve. FBT is federal, Public transport is state, yadda, yadda. But what if they replaced FBT exemptions on private transport with FBT exemptions on public transport? I’d say you’d still end up paying the same amount net out-of-pocket, but there would be more money for bus/train companies to run more and better service.

No, that probably wouldn’t work – but I’d say there are ways. All you policy wonks out there can come up with something, surely?

My premise (i.e – the gravy train bit) is that the FBT exemption for cars is outdated and outmoded in an era of rising petrol prices and global warming. We ought to be encouranging people to own fewer cars, and to drive them less. Given that we aren’t effectively subsidising the Aussie auto industry any more, the economic benefits to the manufacturing sector don’t exist any longer.

There are better things the feds could be spending our money on than subsidising boring V6 sedans for middle management types.

Sorry, 25000km +….I’m not that much of a driver


Having to drive 250000km + a year encourages me to travel, I’m not saying it encourages travel. An assumption by yourself. I also drive a wholly made Australian car.

Good luck to me that my employer offers it and I am in a position to utilise it. The reason it is introduced into the workplace is to encourage the retention of staff through generous conditions.

If, by salary packaging a car, I support the Australian automotive industry and at the same time, through travel use small businesses such as roadside shops, local motels or whatever then what i do can hardly be considered to be part of a gravy train.

Public transport is a state/territory legislative issue. I am a Commonwealth employee. Your argument re spending is moot in my case.

midnitecalla8:15 pm 11 Apr 06

also those who arnt in the know , the “c” class chrysler is fuel efficient in the big car class as the V8 shuts down during off peak traffic to become a large 4 cyl. and is less thirsy than the v6 model . kinda “knight rider” but it appeals to me because of this.

midnitecalla8:03 pm 11 Apr 06

agreed shab, and it was 1988 that that was first mooted, as for cars that are aussie made, if those dinosaurs actually built cars that most aussies lust after in the foreignpress the ratio would improve. wouldbe nice to actually pick up a solid new car with out selling your self in to slavery.

as for my comment on the C class chrysler ,its interesting to find out that i could import and adr a canadian version (rhd) for 15 grand less as its an aussie spec version stripped down for thier design rules. and thats with luxury car tax . silly hey?

Salary packaging wasn’t designed to encourage travel, vg – it was designed to encourage the auto industry.

It was popped into the fringe benefits tax legislation to make it more attractive to buy an Aussie car and drive it – kind of a back-door attempt to prop up the Aussie auto manufacturers without resorting to subsidies or tariffs (I think it was set up in the nacence of Hawke/Keating free-trade restructuring). Course, it didn’t work. I read that when it was introduced, 70% of cars bought in Aus. were Aussie made. It’s closer to 20% now. We’re subsidising other countries auto industries.

I think they need to chuck the whole gravy train and spend the difference on making public transport worth taking.

midnitecalla9:51 pm 10 Apr 06

agreed on the C and keep alook out for the SRT version , as for the other comment i suppose i should have expounded a bit more.

and im biding my time on the C, as i never buy new .

even though its legal to package, its bad form to rub it into others here who dont have that bloody luxury and still work guts out to pay the taxes set to them, so many of us “upper classes” try to minimise yet still expect full benifit of. i dont package my self and yes i do invest but i dont make a point of being that crass by bugling from the roof tops.personally i think is pampering my self and some one invaribly pays. ergo taxes and the strain therof

How are “our” taxes involved in a vehicle salary packaged by an individual?? It’s all paid for by the person and is all legal so I don’t understand your remark midnitecalla.

More power to you if you’re in a position to do it. Hell, if I find myself in that position I’ll get myself a new V8 Chrysler 300C every 5 years.

midnitecalla7:37 pm 10 Apr 06

oh be fore you whinge i am also on top tax rate also but not as pampered as some.

midnitecalla7:36 pm 10 Apr 06

yeah on our taxes, so no one wins.

25,000km/year at least. Encourages travel

isn’t the salary packaging of cars only worth it if you do a fair bit of mileage eg. 20,000km’s plus?


I salary package as well, and you are spot on. Everything [aid for in pre-tax $ (which includes petrol paid for in advance). I am on top tax rate so looking at big savings. Will be packaging cars for the rest of my working life. New car every 3-5 years….lovely.

And second the financial adviser and accountants advice

Vic Bitterman11:08 pm 07 Apr 06

Nope barking toad, I’m spot on. I’m paying pre-tax, top marginal rate, add in other shit I have to pay (medicare levy) and the value of reducing my tax which reduces my taxable income and thus reduces payments of other shit, and I’m way ahead.

Best thing tax wise I’ve done. My accountants agree and put me onto it. They even work out of Brindabella business park near the airport like some of you others 🙂

barking toad7:38 pm 07 Apr 06

ya sums are fucked vic if you think that

Vic Bitterman7:17 pm 07 Apr 06

I salary packaged my latest car. So I’m paying probably about half the pump price in realistic terms due to pre-tax, and being pre-GST.

When I think of it in those terms, the fuel’s priced OK.

I actually think fuel should go up in prce drastically to force people to use other alternatives – our days of cheap petrol are long over, due to global unrest and a looming peak oil crisis in a few decades….

I drive a little korean econobox, and the fuel prices still shit me to tears.
I just accept it, for every second week when I actually have to drive to work. (Tried getting to the airport by 7am using anything other than a car ? you can’t. Oh, maybe on a bike. In Canberra’s weather ?)

I don’t buy anything from servos except petrol anyway. Oh, and their compressed air. But thats still free, for now.

Price hikes before public holidays and the like have been happening for as long as I can remember. I remember listening to my olds bitching in the 80’s about fuel costs when they owned an V8 HZ Premier. (An archaic fuel-guzzler.)

What is my point? People who CHOOSE to own a “fuel guzzler” have every right to drive a car that suits their needs and lifestyle. What they don’t have is my sympathy when they complain about high fuel prices.
If it is a REAL problem for you to pay rediculous amounts to fill your Falcodore (or whatever!) then as I said earlier, downsize!
You’ll find that there are small cars that cover all your needs and use very little fuel – which means, like me, you can drive past the idiots lined up at the servo before an expected price hike with a smug sense of satisfaction and a big grin on you face.

Absent Diane4:15 pm 07 Apr 06


Boycotting non-petrol items won’t matter a gnat’s bollock to the petrol companies, and won’t hurt anyone but the servo owners, who are every bit as beholden to the whims of the petrol companies as the consumers.

Your boycott will achieve nothing. In fact, it will probably work against you, because petrol prices will go up to make up the shortfall at the till…

Am I back on track Chris?

Have a good weekend, y’all. I’m off to the pub.

ban holidays terubo? Be careful what you wish for…

Sorry bulldog – I am putting words in your mouth, and for that I apologise.

My crack about Today Tonight should not have been directed at you specifically. It was my frustration at the rhetoric that assumes that any solution to the petrol price problem lies solely with the seller, not the buyer (ie, a lot of people seem to assume that driving a huge, fuel guzzling car is a god-given right.)

I do stand by my comment that fuel companies have more power to set prices than servos. Servos set prices at the bowser, but the daily spot price of petrol makes a mysterious (and predictable) spike coming up to public holidays. Retailers have to make their money back. They’re hardly going to sell at a loss so mum, dad and the kids can pack up the Land Cruiser and head down to Bonnydoon. If they’ve got the chance to sell the petrol they bought at a lower price when the market is high, it’s just good luck for them – not some conspiracy of servos. Pity the poor servo owner who has to sell the petrol bought at the higher price at the lower, post holiday price…

My comment on you having a petrol-guzzler is based on the fact the the people who protest the most about petrol prices seem to be the owners of large, shiny auto’s – with large, shiny petrol consumption. Gross generalisation, I know, but one I’m prepared to make.

My ranting about fuel prices shall be consistent. Feel free to hack out on me bitching-about-bitching-about-fuel-prices. Or about anything else, for that matter. Arguing is part of why I come here. Why not be prepared to be abused? It’s all part of the fun.

Absent Diane3:50 pm 07 Apr 06

dunno what happened there??

Absent Diane3:49 pm 07 Apr 06

I can assure you that boyoctting will achieve nothing other than saving you a buck or two…
a) it is as hairbrained as boycotting certain petrol companies
b)as someone else said it is only going to hurt the retailer….

ya gotta be smarter than that…

Absent Diane3:48 pm 07 Apr 06

I can assure you that boyoctting will achieve nothing other than saving you a buck or two…
a) it is as hairbrained as boycotting particular petrol companies
b)as someone else said it is only going to hurt th

… and weekends? and public service paydays? Bloody hell, terubo! Lucky us public servants can’t tell the difference between working days and weekends.

barking toad3:45 pm 07 Apr 06

What I want to know is who told the international oil conglomerates when Canberra Day was so they could jack up world oil prices just before that weekend!

Anyhow, it’s simple economics – supply and demand. Oil companies discount in off pay week because everyone’s short of dosh and doesn’t fill up.

The price gets jacked up a day or two before payday because everyone’s car is empty and they’ve got to fill up.

Oil companies are pricks and their record profits of the last year have nothing to with anything other than that.

And for the record – I ride a bike, drive a 4WD and buses can get fucked, even at simon’s warp speed.

Aw look, it’s just about coincidence. Sheer coincidence that petrol prices rise at the bowser just before every goddam public holiday.
Solution? Ban holidays. QED.

You guys are completely missing kimba’s point – he’s talking about the way in which servos suddenly hike the price of fuel just before weekends, and even more just before holidays.

I understand the cyclical nature of the price of oil, and am also sympathetic to the environmental concerns about high use of fossil fuels, and dickhead 4WDers.

The issue is that, at a time when many Australian families choose to spend some time together on holiday, they are held to ransom by whomever in the fuel supply chain decides on this “gouging” (which it is when they are purcahsing their product at a price and then adjusting up or down depending on demand), who then deny that they are doing so. I think it is this lack of honesty that is the fraudulent thing, rather than simply market forces in operation.

If it is legitimate for private sector organisations to manipulate their prices to hit people at a time when profits can be maximised, then kimba’s call to arms to boycott purchase of their other products is a legitimate consumer activity.

As I said above, go kimba!

(Can you tell I’m screamingly bored?)

Absent Diane3:29 pm 07 Apr 06

Ari – if the birds are of a decent size Im sure kingsleys would be interested in talking to you and your environment killing 4wd…

Shab – get off the crack – at no point did I start the “hurting Aussie Battler” shit which you refer to. At no point did I say that gouging was illegal, hell I even said that I might get into it given the oppurtunity. I lined up a whinge and I had it – if you don’t agree with it than that’s your entitlement, but don’t put words in my mouth becasue you come accross like more of an idiot than the enforcer whcih you obviously fancy yourself to be.

While we’re at it – Who sets the prices at the service stations? Does mobil or shell call the stations at two o’clock in the afternoon and tell them to raise prices by 2 cents a litre regardless of when they have had their last shipment? I thought that was illegal? Then how is it that they all seem to change together? It’s because the operator of the servo responds to what the other oerators are doing – Whilst the operators are at least partly to blame I do agree that the primary contributors to this state of affairs are the distributors and the gov’t.

Oh – and not knowing what kind of car I drive or mileage I get out of it doesn’t lend you any credibilty to tell me to trade in my ‘fuel guzzler’. Regardless of how much product I do or don’t use, it’s still hard to balance a budget.

And before you tar and feather me are you saying that you’ve not once expressed discontent on RA? I think not. So be wary of who you accuse of ‘bitching’ lest your own words come back to haunt you.

Quite right, AD. Maybe the invisible hand of the market is working for the environment for a change…

He he he – “environment killing cars”.

It’s great feeling of power piloting the 4WD down the highway and watching in the mirror as vegetation withers in my wake.

But the birds dropping from the skies can get a tad messy.

Absent Diane3:06 pm 07 Apr 06

Isn’t funny how those who complain about petrol prices and damage to the environment are generally those who drive the fuel guzzlingk/environment killing cars…

I think that petrol prices going up are a godsend.. as it encourages more environmentally friendly options…

Amen Les.

Bulldog – you can whine all you like about fuel companies price gouging. It’s totally legal. The fuel companies has established you will still consume the same amount of petrol for 12c more. Refusing to buy your ciggies from their retailer doesn’t mean a damn thing to them. The fuel companies are the ones with the most power to set prices, not Bob the servo owner down the street.

If fuel prices are becoming such a burden, trade in your fuel guzzler for something that costs less to run. Either that, or quit your bitching. You sound like a broken record of Today Tonight having yet another friggin’ expose of price gouging hurting the poor little Aussie battlers and not letting them feed the kids cause they’re too busy pumping their pay packets into their V8 Commodore/Toorak Tractor.

Anyone who whinges about petrol prices should just buy a more economical car. Mine gets about 6L to 100kms and gets me wherever I need to go whether it be city or country.

I have never had to complain about higher fuel costs, because at the rate mine chews through it I never notice an appreciable difference at the bowser.

Oil prices may not have gone up 8-12% in the last 3 days, However the price of Nymex Light Sweet Crude (for eg) has gone from US$60 (12/3/06) to US$67.07 (today) which is a 12%+ increase (in less that a month). Maybe the recent price rise at the pump is due to the oil companies not increasing their prices until they start selling the oil that they bought at the more expensive prices. Coupled with a 3%+ decline in the price of the A$ and the increase in tax paid as price increases the current price rise is easily accounted without having to resort to conspiracy theories about price gouging. Don’t like the price? Don’t buy it and do the world a favour.

Thanks RG – I stand corrected

Kimba, moreover not buying things from the service station isn’t going to hurt the oil companies much at all. It’ll hurt the local folks that run and work in the stations more than the oil companies.

The get a bike / buy shares ideas are better ones than your proposal, methinks.

Missed out? Not so Chris, abysmally ignorant and softheaded comments from you.

Because I know for a fact that John Howard got a memorial novelty NASA pen and a card saying “Thanks SO MUCH for all your hard work”.


Petrol is a derivative of oil chris. i don’t think anyone really gives a shit about the cost of the oil you pour into the engine block to lubricate it once in a blue moon. but the oil derivative that goes in the petrol tank every week makes quite a bit of difference to the size of your wallet.

We won, we should be getting the shit for free.

If you really want to protest rising fuel costs, buy a bike.

I wrote the above before Bulldog said his piece. He’s dead right – it is price gouging, and yes, the Iraqi invasion has done no-one any favours, except for Halliburton, KBR and other supporters of the Bush regime. Even the other members of the Coalition of the Fuckin’ Stupid have missed out.

I disagree with the last few comments, and suggest that Kimba is onto something.

There are plenty of alternative places to purchase oil, if you make your own oil changes, such as Supercheap, Big W, etc, none of whom adjust their prices just before weekends.

Ditto for other supplies from service stations – milk, etc. If everyone boycotted servos when buying these (often expensive) additional items, then a message is being sent to the servos.

The service stations complain that they are at the mercy of the oil companies, who provide, and withdraw, discounts at various times. That may be true (unfortunately we will probably never know for sure), but the fuel in their very large tanks will be used at different rates depending on service station turnover, so this does not explain the sudden, across-the-board increases by every servo at the same time.

Methinks they are all playing nasty games with consumers, and therefore it behoves all consumers to hit them where it hurts most – by refusing to buy products that we can get elsewhere without the angst of regular price rises at times of peak demands.

Go for it Kimba!

Okay – it’s been a whilse since I had a whinge, so hear goes.

Binker – don’t believe the crap that the gov’t and the oil companies feed us. In my experience it is gouging – the price of oil did not shoot up by eight to twleve percent three days ago – so whay are we paying that much more at he bowser today?

And why is it that it is one of the only industries allegedly dictated by world prices? For eaxample, if I want to import a car in April for wholesale I pay the wholesale rate – let’s say $20,000 – and I have a mandatory 12 percent markup on the car when I sell it – making the cost $22,400 and giving me a profit of $2,400.

Let’s say the car arrives in late April and I pay for it. Then in May I hear that the car is now worth 22,000 at my price. I take the new price – then add my 12 percent ($24,640) even though I’ve paid for it at the lower price – and sell it. I have just turned a $2,400 profit into $4,640 profit.

That’s gouging. I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it given the oppurtunity, but I am saying there is absolutely no real reason that a small increase to a barrel of oil on the stock market should have an immediate effect at the pump.

The difference between my scenario and the fact about fule costs is that if i tried that on my clients would tell me to get fucked and buy a car off someone else. Now – we can’t do that because of the price-fixing and inside trading that “doesn’t occur”. Bullshit again.

And yes Kimba – I will stop buying my smokes at the servo. And no Shab – I won’t catch the goddamn bus (some players will know how I feel about that particular debacle).

While I’m in the swing of it – has anyone noticed now that Oil is much more expensive than it was during Saddam’s reign of evil? Coincidence given that Iraq is one of the oiliest states? And even during the war on terror where we were told that we had to pay a bit more for fuel becasue the industry was in danger of being damaged during the fighting – it was cheaper than it is now. i’m no conspiracy tool, but something about that sit’s uneasily with me.

Now the difference is that I know there is fuck all I can do about this situation, but I still like to have a gripe every now and then.

As much as I think it sucks, there aint much you can do about it.

Rather than complaining do as the old adage says “if you dont like it, buy shares in the company”
How happy would you be now if you owned shares in oil? offsetting the rising petrol costs against your shares, wonderful, hehe.

High oil prices have the effect of reducing demand (although admittedly demand for oil is somewhat inelastic) hence leading to a reduction in the environmentally deleterious effects of burning oil. They also reduce use of, and reliance upon oil, (which is necessary given that oil is a finite resource) stretching the life of oil reserves. There is an adjunct stimulation of research and development in the area of alternative energy sources. The current petrol price rise is probably better accounted for by a rise in world oil prices and the recent drop in the A$ rather than purely gouging.

Hate to say it Kimba, but get your hand off it.

It’s all involved with one of those main tenets of a free market economy. The supply chain will charge as much as the market will bear. When they really have the market over a barrel (weak pun not intended) they can jack up the price with gay abandon.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…why is everyone so damned suprised that this happens? Wouldn’t you do the exact same thing in the same circumstance?

And individual petrol station owners have no power whatsoever to put pressure on the oil companies (especially in a tiny market like Canberra). That’s the most naieve assertion I’ve ever heard.

If you’re so hacked off by petrol prices take the bus or buy a smaller car.


Nice idea. One small problem with not buying oil etc, is that you run the risk of stuffing your car. In this country, the fuel price is very heavily taxed. If these levies were reduced slightly, fuel costs would be a little more fairer.

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.