Petrol prices are on the rise in the ACT but other cities are hitting record-highs

Max O'Driscoll 19 October 2021 14
Coles petrol pump

Canberra petrol prices tend to rise more gradually in response to global price movements. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

With Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane all reaching record-high petrol prices on Monday and then again yesterday (18 and 19 October), the NRMA has told Canberra residents to expect a steady price growth over the next few weeks, but “we shouldn’t see Canberra’s prices reach Sydney’s today”, according to NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury.

Sydney reached an average price for regular unleaded of over $1.72 per litre yesterday, while Melbourne reached $1.79 per litre and Brisbane is at a peak price nationwide of $1.80 per litre.

The ACT’s average price per litre of unleaded sits comfortably below the other three eastern capital cities at $1.62 per litre.


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As per the Australian Institute of Petroleum’s Weekly Petrol Prices Report for October 11-17, petrol prices rose by as much as 13.9 cents a litre in Brisbane in one week. The ACT recorded an average increase of 0.9 cents.

Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney have consistent price cycles for petrol and they are currently at the top of their cycles. By comparison, Canberra has no cycle, meaning fewer price fluctuations. Instead, the rising fuel price is driven by a shortage in the supply of oil which is affecting prices all over the world.


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“What we often see in Canberra is a gradual reaction to what happens globally,” said Mr Khoury.

While Canberra is unlikely to reach the same price-highs, Mr Khoury believes that the average price of petrol Territory-wide will stay above the $1.60 mark for the immediate future.

The governing body for petroleum exporting countries, OPEC, determined it would not increase oil production in October but has yet to announce its production levels for November.

The ACT and Victoria are the only two regions that do not provide real-time, publicly accessible price data. Mr Khoury called on the ACT Government to enforce this technology in the Territory.

The ACT’s petrol prices have stayed relatively low since April 2020 when Chief Minister Andrew Barr threatened retailers with a cap on petrol pricing and reached out to the chairman Australian Competition and Consumer Commission seeking an investigation into the disparity of petrol prices in the ACT in comparison with other major Australian cities.


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14 Responses to Petrol prices are on the rise in the ACT but other cities are hitting record-highs
Mataina Rozowsky Mataina Rozowsky 8:56 pm 23 Oct 21

Of course they're rising .... Canberra's are on the move again

Capital Retro Capital Retro 7:44 am 23 Oct 21

The Fluid Complex should note that interest rates are not going up and higher returns for investment are important to “baby boomers” to offset the rising costs of other things like table grapes which are currently about $18.00 a kilo.

“Baby boomers” who are largely self-funded are not funded by “the battlers” either.

    chewy14 chewy14 2:49 pm 23 Oct 21

    Baby Boomers are largely self funded? Haha.

    Is that why a majority of them receive the age pension?

    Or copious amounts of other benefits, welfare and other government support services far in excess of the amount of tax they pay?

    Not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that but let’s be real.

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:13 am 24 Oct 21

    I referred specifically to that demographic who were self-funded.

    I suppose it doesn’t matter anyhow because you hate them all.

    Futureproof Futureproof 1:24 pm 24 Oct 21

    chewy14 – I’m a boomer, still working. When I retire, I’m going to hit up the government to get as much free stuff as I can. If I can get it from Millennials, well that’s a bonus

    chewy14 chewy14 2:04 pm 24 Oct 21

    Futureproof,
    Extremely ironic name you have there.

Jon Billows Jon Billows 1:55 pm 20 Oct 21

Petrol prices in Canberra are nothing short of extortion. And ACT Government does nothing to keep it in check. Other states have watchdogs and live tracking app. Hell on SA servos have to log changes in a central database before changing.

    Warwick Bradly Warwick Bradly 7:43 am 21 Oct 21

    Did you not read the article? All cities are copping higher petrol prices. If you check Petrolspy.com, you'll see Canberra has lower prices than a lot of places.

    With the escalating price of crude oil and worldwide supply chain issues, petrol may get even more expensive.

    Jon Billows Jon Billows 7:45 am 21 Oct 21

    Warwick Bradly Canberra doesn't have a price cycle like other states, just constantly expensive. Other states prices fluctuate and you can get 50% cheaper prices if you shop around.

    The current short term supply issues should not be a distraction to the years of neglect by the government and of price gouging by servos.

    Belinda Spouncer Belinda Spouncer 1:52 am 23 Oct 21

    Jon Billows Canberra has much higher prices for petrol. I have been here for 5 years and was shocked at the prices paid here. In Sydney you can track prices and usually 2 days of the week prices will go down but never here.

Daniel Oyston Daniel Oyston 12:48 pm 20 Oct 21

but but but the petrol stations always tell us it is the transport costs that push the prices higher (usually).

    Ben Oostermeyer Ben Oostermeyer 4:30 pm 20 Oct 21

    Daniel Oyston Gouging to recover lost Covid profits.

    James Forge James Forge 8:52 pm 20 Oct 21

    Ben Oostermeyer I agree.

    The usual excuses of transport costs and lack of competition don't wash when fuel that has to travel through Canberra and then on a further 100km is cheaper in Cooma. Goulburn prices are often far lower.

    The Fluid Complex The Fluid Complex 5:44 pm 22 Oct 21

    Ben Oostermeyer Nope. EVERYTHING is going up. Inflation rising significantly because we strangled supply with lockdowns and restrictions. Ok if you've got a pay rise or have plenty of excess funds. Suck eggs to battlers - they are (or will be very soon) paying the price to keep retired baby boomers free of covid.

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