Fuel price records smashed in regional Queensland
REGIONAL Queenslanders are being slugged record-breaking amounts at the bowser as fuel prices soared to more than 160 cents per litre this week.
The worrying trend, labelled "unfair” by RACQ, is crippling small businesses in the transport industry.
Unleaded petrol peaked at an outrageous 165.9cpl in Biloela and some parts of western Queensland.
According to the state's peak motoring body, drivers in Emerald, Gladstone, Goondiwindi, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton and Townsville are feeling the pinch as the cost of fuel reached all-time highs.
The transport sector has taken the biggest hit with business owners no longer able to keep increasing their prices.
Local operator Peter Watts, owner of Biloela Transport, said out of control fuel prices were killing the industry.
"We can't pass the costs on any more. If we keep putting our prices up we won't have any customers left,” Mr Watts said.
"We just have to take the hit and hope it will be over soon.
"I've seen some places charging 170cpl for diesel, it's ridiculous.
"Being in a country town we want to help local businesses so I still pay retail prices.
"We've got four servos in town and three are owned by the same company - it's a joke.
"They have to make their margin but they're screwing us a bit as well.
"Fuel has gone up and business is going down. This is usually our busiest time in the lead-up to Christmas but it's the quietest I've ever seen it in the last 10 years.
"Nobody has got any money. Everyone is battling at the moment.”
Ted Hill of Dawson Valley Couriers said the 7cpl jump in fuel prices in Biloela over the past week was costing him an extra $50 per vehicle every day.
"We're constantly recalculating and raising our freight charges,” Mr Hill said.
"Everyone is complaining about our prices but we can't do anything about it.
"The cost of fuel has been going up and up all the time.
"It's coming up to Christmas now and it has got to stop.”
More regional centres are expected to follow suit and Queenslanders will see more records smashed over the coming days and weeks.
RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said longstanding records are tumbling and she urged regional motorists to let their wallets do the talking.
"While the rising global oil price and softening Aussie dollar is largely to blame for these prices, some servos are charging above what we think is fair,” Ms Ross said.
"It might not seem like much of a saving but choosing the cheaper retailers will send a strong message to the others to compete for your business and can save your household hundreds of dollars over the year.”