As the year comes to an end it’s timely to reflect on how you might have been ripped off during 2012 and what can be done about it in 2013. Here are just some of the rip offs so feel free to tell us about others.

The rip off continues

First up we have the ongoing petrol rip off. Poor old motorists got ripped off every day of the week as the same petrol was sold by the same petrol retailer at different prices at different locations.

At one location you could pay a higher price than another location. That’s the old geographic price discrimination trick. There’s no rational reason why the same petrol has a higher price in one suburb as opposed to the adjoining suburb or even across the road.

The harsh reality is that the petrol retailer can get away with charging the higher price. Whatever “the market can bear” is just another expression for a rip off the retailer can simply get away with.

The poor motorist is kept in the dark as searching for cheaper petrol is prohibitive or simply inefficient in the absence of motorists having access to real time pricing information from all petrol retailers.

And don’t get too excited by Woolworths making its petrol pricing information available to Everyday Rewards members.

Not everyone is an Everyday Reward member because some of us don’t want to give away our privacy.

Would you want your neighbour to know what you buy at the supermarket? Of course not, so why would we let Coles and Woolworths know what we buy from them?

Do we really want more junk emails “tailored” to our so-called buying habits? What do you think?

At least Woolworths has made the effort to provide their own petrol prices to its Everyday Rewards members.

What’s Coles going to do? What are other major petrol retailers going to do? Will they give motorists access to real time petrol information? Don’t hold your breath as they might just like keeping motorists in the dark.

Petrol retailers are happy to get pricing information about their competitors’ prices through a company called Informed Sources, but they don’t really want motorists to get that same information in real time.

What’s the ACCC doing about the information sharing going on between the petrol retailers? You guessed it. The ACCC is “investigating.”

As we wait for the ACCC to tell us the outcome of their “investigation” the rip off continues.

Now, interestingly, the so-called ACCC Petrol Commissioner again tells us in his latest report into petrol prices that there‘s no problem with Australian petrol prices as we are just `victims’ of `international factors.’

That’s great isn’t it? Taxpayers pay lots of money to the ACCC and all we get is a report that says that there’s nothing wrong with petrol prices.

Well, well. If there’s nothing wrong with petrol prices, then why do we need an ACCC Petrol Commissioner?

Obviously it’s time to abolish the ACCC Petrol Commissioner as, according to his latest report, there’s no problem with petrol prices.

That would save taxpayer money and we wouldn’t then get ripped off by a Federal Government with an insatiable appetite for imposing new taxes to raise money.

We won’t even mention the carbon tax, sorry, carbon price.

Then of course we have the car parking rip off. Whether it’s your local council or shopping centre, car parking fees are set at “what the market can bear”.

We are told by the economists and free market fundamentalists that it’s just market forces at play. It’s so convenient to use the “market” as a cover for gouging consumers.

The harsh reality is that the rip off is allowed to happen because of a market failure.

Do you always know how much it’s going to cost you before you enter a car park? Are you excited with big signs inviting you to use the car park with very low fees for the first half hour? What about the next half hour and the hour after that? And what about the so-called 2 hours free parking?

With the festive season upon us it may take 2 hours to just get out of a shopping centre.

Why doesn’t the State or Territory Government require all car parking stations to publish their prices online or at least place a big sign at the front entrance setting out a single average hourly rate for that parking station based on its total daily fee divided by 8 hours.

That would be a simple point of comparison.

Would car parking stations do that voluntarily? What do you think?

The trick with getting away with a rip off is to keep the consumer in the dark. A lack of transparency is a common market failure and could be easily fixed if Governments provided the necessary leadership.

And how can we forget the major banks? The Reserve Bank keeps reducing the official rate and the major banks keep defying gravity by not reducing interest rates on loans as much as they should.

Predictably, we get the usual self interested apologists for the major banks saying that the banks are doing the `right thing’ by not reducing interest rates on loans as much as they should.

I suppose that putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank is the right thing to do for Dracula, especially given that he’s such an expert at handling blood.

But is it the “right thing” to do for the rest of us who may need to borrow blood sometime? What if Dracula then wanted to charge us inflated prices to `borrow’ from `his’ blood bank?

Maybe we should ask those who don’t have shares in the major banks?

Hang on. Don’t our superannuation funds have shares in the major banks? Well, yes, but superannuation funds are there to fund your retirement and that’s not much help if you can’t get an affordable loan when you are younger to buy a house to live in when you retire.

Maybe we need the Federal Government to impose a super profit tax on the major banks to create a fund of affordable finance for first home buyers and small businesses.

We could call it the Affordable Finance Fund. Isn’t that a great idea?

The more the major banks ripped us off, the more super profits they would make, the more the super profit tax they would pay, and the more affordable finance there would be for first home buyers and small businesses from the Affordable Finance Fund.

One can only imagine the excitement among all those highly paid banking executives if they were given such a golden opportunity to help first home buyers and small businesses access affordable finance.

Wouldn’t they feel great that it was their taxes that were helping first home buyers buy an affordable house and small businesses to establish themselves?

Don’t we all want to know that our taxes are going to a good cause?

Then again maybe the Federal Government should be cutting taxes rather than imposing new ones. They could cut spending for starters. Then they wouldn’t have to tax us or borrow as much.

Now that would go a long way to reducing the tax rip off and giving us all extra money to spend during the festive season to help boost the economy.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

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43 comments

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    • Peter says:

      06:50am | 19/12/12

      We live in Australia and we get ripped off - period. I have lived in the USA and the UK and have always marvelled at how everything is cheaper. The supermakrets overseas have real competition. Petrol prices in other countries do not yo-yo up and down on different days of the week So why here? TV here is pathetic. Nothing starts on time - doesn’t happen in the UK. So why here?
      And then there’s Qantas. Joke airline. That inflight drunk should have spat at Alan Joyce.
      I have been begging my wife to let us live overseas again - rent out our house here in Sydney for $1200 a week and live like kings in northern California or Surrey paying a third of that. My job is transportable. Lucky me. Yes - their economies might be on the nose but that doesn’t affect me. Trouble is wifey wants to be near the mother-in-law. Til we move, I am trapped here being ripped off every day. At least the weather is not too hot.
      I feel bad for the lower classes who will get the rough end of the pineapple when the LNP get in next year. The rip offs now will seem minor inconveniences by comparison.

    • Mazz says:

      08:35am | 19/12/12

      Having lived in the UK, this is not true. Their house prices are the same in pound numbers as ours in dollars. Wages are lower. Fuel in UK is up to $2.00. I was in Sweden recently and fuel there is $2.00 (15 SEK) a litre.

    • PJ says:

      09:11am | 19/12/12

      hang on?

      The reason why everything is so expensive for lower to middle income Australians relates in part to:

      - Massive Government borrowings to feed reckless spending, which has driven up the dollar
      - the Carbon tax, which with its GST component (that they hid from us) adds 15% to everything we buy.

      We’ve had 5 years of Labor and this is what has been delivered to the lower income brackets:
      - a 17% increase in homelessness. The Gillard Government promised to cut homelessness by 50% as well, so another broken promise.
      - a 38% spike in South Australian families having their electricity cut off because they cannot afford to pay their bills.
      - Some 12% of Victorian kids are growing up in families where no one has a job.
      - over 14% of South Australian kids are growing up in families where no one has a job.
      - In Victoria, 21% of ‘Couple Families’ live on welfare.
      - In South Australia, unemployed families outnumber working families where both parents have a job. This echoes nationally where
      - 21.8% of families no one works.
      - which is higher than 19.3% of Families in which both parents work.
      - Rents have risen over 50% in the past 5 years of Labor, as it pushes for it’s ‘Big Australia’ crush dream.
      - a Mass immigration policy has driven up rents and house prices, making it impossible for first time buyers to get onto the property market.
      - a policy allowing none residents to buy Australian property has also greatly contributed to this suffering.

      The Monash Uni Report shows that 53.6% of the new 1 million jobs that the Labor Government created over 5 years went to overseas workers signed in on a temporary visa. Thats 50% of jobs onshore Domestic workers were deprived of having themselves.

      The Labor Government is borrowing $300 Billion and us poor Aussie folks face 131 years to pay back there reckless spending.

      So I would suggest you revise your view that “the lower classes who will get the rough end of the pineapple when the LNP get in next year” and understand that we could not have it any worse than it is now.

    • PJ says:

      09:17am | 19/12/12

      hang on?

      The reason why everything is so expensive for lower to middle income Australians relates in part to:
      - Massive Government borrowings to feed reckless spending, which has driven up the dollar
      - the Carbon tax, which with its GST component (that they hid from us) adds 15% to everything we buy.

      We’ve had 5 years of Labor and this is what has been delivered to the lower income brackets:
      - a 17% increase in homelessness. The Gillard Government promised to cut homelessness by 50% as well, so another broken promise.
      - a 38% spike in South Australian families having their electricity cut off because they cannot afford to pay their bills.
      - Some 12% of Victorian kids are growing up in families where no one has a job.
      - over 14% of South Australian kids are growing up in families where no one has a job.
      - In Victoria, 21% of ‘Couple Families’ live on welfare.
      - In South Australia, unemployed families outnumber working families where both parents have a job. This echoes nationally where
      - 21.8% of families no one works.
      - which is higher than 19.3% of Families in which both parents work.
      - Rents have risen over 50% in the past 5 years of Labor, as it pushes for it’s ‘Big Australia’ crush dream.
      - a Mass immigration policy has driven up rents and house prices, making it impossible for first time buyers to get onto the property market.
      - a policy allowing none residents to buy Australian property has also greatly contributed to this suffering.

      The Monash Uni Report shows that 53.6% of the new 1 million jobs that the Labor Government created over 5 years went to overseas workers signed in on a temporary visa. Thats 50% of jobs onshore Domestic workers were deprived of having themselves.

      The Labor Government is borrowing $300 Billion and us poor Aussie folks face 131 years to pay back there reckless spending.

      So I would suggest you revise your view that “the lower classes who will get the rough end of the pineapple when the LNP get in next year” and understand that we could not have it any worse than it is now.

    • AT says:

      09:56am | 19/12/12

      PJ, None of that is remotely true and you sound like a liberal party stooge. But I thought I’d help you. Here is a bunch of Abbott’s speeches that you can copy and past to any political forum regardless of topic! Just chose nonsense anti-Labor statistic, reason why and how Gillard lied this time and there you have it; a genuine PJ post.

      http://www.tonyabbott.com.au/LatestNews/Speeches.aspx

    • VJR says:

      10:45am | 19/12/12

      Peter. I couldn’t agree more with your comments. We had a very enjoyable holiday in the US and were constantly amazed by how cheap things like food, footware, white goods, accommodation were and we took into account how good our dollar is compared to the US$.  We have always been ripped off in this country and we have become so used to it we think it’s normal. The AAAC is a toothless tiger.

    • acotrel says:

      02:44pm | 19/12/12

      @VJC
      When Howard and Costello adopted Keating’s economic reforms, they conveniently forgot to continue to pursue the unfinished competition policy.

    • acotrel says:

      02:47pm | 19/12/12

      @AT
      What would the LNP be without negativity,  lies, smear, innuendo, euphemisms, poison and weasel words ?

    • Dave says:

      06:58am | 19/12/12

      Hi Frank, there aren’t many free market fundamentalists with influence in Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea these days. How is that working for them?

      I don’t think they have “geographic price discrimination” and banks “defying gravity” much in those countries. It must be a utopia!

      “Well, well. If there’s nothing wrong with petrol prices, then why do we need an ACCC Petrol Commissioner?”

      Why should this outcome be a problem? Is the role of the Petrol Commissioner only to find fault and expand the government’s power? Why not give it a more appropriate name then—perhaps “ACCC Petrol Inquisitor.”

    • PJ says:

      09:28am | 19/12/12

      Some 80% of the cost of a litre of Petrol is Gillard Government taxes.

      Gillard Government taxation, carbon tax PRRT, has forced many Refineries to make the decision to close in Australia.

      The future model is to bring in Refined Petrol from China etc on Ships.

      - This model means Australian job losses.
      - Petrol prices controlled by other Nations.
      - The possibility of Petrol shortages, like the two weeks Victoria suffered when Shell Refinery stopped manufacturing Diesel for a couple of days.

      Petroleum product likes water. And once water enters the product, it becomes off spec and cannot be used.

      We are taking big risks with our remaining industries by reverting to this model.

      Analysts estimate that under this distribution model, Australia would grind to a halt in 3 weeks, should the Shipments of Petroleum be cut off.

      Better to scrap the Gillard Government, the Carbon and Mining taxes.

    • Achmed says:

      09:53am | 19/12/12

      PJ - you are a liar.  Plain and simple.  The fuel excise was introduced by the Liberals under Fraser and linked the Aust fuel price to the Singapore wholesale price.  Howard added the GST.  And despite your lies fuel was exempted from the CT.

      And how about you provide a reference to at least one of your rants….can’t ???  all figments of your deluded imagination

    • AT says:

      10:14am | 19/12/12

      PJ,

      Can you tell me that while we are enjoying cheap imports and a lower CPI index because of the high dollar value why then hasn’t petrol prices gone down seeing as previously the petrol companies were saying that the prices were due to a cycle in Singapore (where most of the petroleum we use is bought?

      And
      1). Some 40% are government taxes and they have been lowered under the Labor government
      2). Petrol is exempt from the Carbon Tax
      3). MRRT has no effect on petrol prices
      4). Most of our petrol is transported by ships and simply refined on shore.

      You are most definitely a Liberal stooge and no one should listen to your rants!

    • Phil S says:

      10:19am | 19/12/12

      Right PJ, because before the Gillard government, petrol prices were 30c/l…Oh wait they weren’, and you are pulling numbers out of your ass.

      You are becoming more and more irrelevant as each day passes…

    • Noisy says:

      02:30pm | 19/12/12

      Dave, you seemed to have missed the point of what Frank is saying. Not surprising….One thing the Petrol Commissioner is charged with is making sure competition is strong and EVEN across the whole market. That includes identifying illegal behavior. So firstly if the Commissioner is not performing his duty as to ensuring even competition and is allowing ‘geographic price discrimination’ to slip through the cracks of what is competitively legal than perhaps it is time to give him the flick and find someone with a more ‘inquisitive’ mind to take the job. 

      Secondly, are you the type that needs a job description to be spelled out in the job title? ACCC Petrol Inquisitor? Yes that is great but as the Petrol Commissioner, they also have to make inquiries and investigations - just because it isn’t in the name doesn’t mean the duty is not there. The petrol commissioner cannot find a legitimate reason to justify why petrol prices are continuously fluctuating and there is no consistency across locations. Does this not bother you? Because petrol prices are burning a hole in the pockets of Australian motorists. So, yes finding fault is one of the biggest and most important roles of the Commissioner, regardless of what title you want to give. Call the position whatever you desire if it helps you sleep at night, but don’t lose sit of the bigger issue here, like you clearly have already.    

    • acotrel says:

      02:53pm | 19/12/12

      @PJ
      Removing petrol rationing after WW2 was how the Liberal Party crawled back into power.  History repeating itself ? -  How many ways can the LNP drag out the ame old chestnuts ?

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:14am | 19/12/12

      “Whatever “the market can bear” is just another expression for a rip off the retailer can simply get away with”

      No. It’s the old saying that everything is worth what people are willing to bargain for it. If you don’t like the price don’t pay for it and find an alternative such as public transport.

      “Not everyone is an Everyday Reward member because some of us don’t want to give away our privacy”

      What privacy? Why do you care if Woolies knows you like Cadbury over Lindt? It’s not like they can do anything with this info other than send you info on sales of Cadbury. Golly gosh what horror. Seems the benefit of knowing about cheap petrol far outweighs the cost of automatically deleting spam email

      “Don’t hold your breath as they might just like keeping motorists in the dark”

      It doesn’t take long to figure out which petrol stations in your area are cheapest and when. Just requires to have a bit of awareness of your surroundings and a better memory than a goldfish

      “insatiable appetite for imposing new taxes to raise money”

      Like the 50% of the pump price that is taxes…...

      “car parking fees are set at “what the market can bear””

      The free market…..
      Maybe talk to the NIMBYs at your local council and get them to build giant underground car parks underneath every second block. Free parking for everyone just about everywhere. It would increase business in the local area as people would be able to shop without hassle of not being able to park there

      “Do you always know how much it’s going to cost you before you enter a car park? Are you excited with big signs inviting you to use the car park with very low fees for the first half hour? What about the next half hour and the hour after that? And what about the so-called 2 hours free parking?”

      Yes. It’s written on the sign and I’m familiar with past experience too
      Even at Broadway Shopping Centre the first 2 hours are free. A sign clearly states how much after that it costs. Same with Westfield Bobdi Junction and Edgecliff Shopping Centre. In Charlestown Square you get 6 hours free parking. At Westfield Kotara parking is also generous

      “A lack of transparency is a common market failure and could be easily fixed if Governments provided the necessary leadership”

      Not necessary. There’s a big sign right in front of you. Some of their advertising also tells you this. I’ve heard radio adverts of Charlestown Square informing me of their 6 hours free parking. Not that shopping takes any more than 2 anyway. In and out. Get it. Pay. Leave.

      “not much help if you can’t get an affordable loan when you are younger to buy a house to live in when you retire”

      Go to a NBFI. There are plenty out there and they’re better than banks. If they won’t lend to you then you really should reconsider whether you’re worthy of getting a loan. Get a better job and save more money first

      “Maybe we need the Federal Government to impose a super profit tax on the major banks to create a fund of affordable finance for first home buyers and small businesses”

      Banks don’t earn super profits. Their return on equity isn’t that great. The last thing we need is governments stealing money from profitable people just to hand it out to unprofitable people and create a home loan market of cheap credit with inflationary pressures on prices. That is essentially what caused the GFC

      “Then again maybe the Federal Government should be cutting taxes rather than imposing new ones. They could cut spending for starters. Then they wouldn’t have to tax us or borrow as much.”

      This is the only intelligent thing you said

    • Dolly says:

      08:59am | 19/12/12

      Mate!  Settle petal. It’s ok, everything is ok. Just take a little tablet and have a good lie down

    • Tubesteak says:

      09:59am | 19/12/12

      Dolly
      Now that I’ve countered his idiotic whining with facts and logic I can settle. I always have to put fools in their place. I cannot let it lie because fools are allowed to vote and the more we let them speak the more they convince themselves of their foolishness.

      I’ll be doing it again the next Punch article that comes along talking about the gender pay gap myth. Vigilance is the eternal cost of peace or something like that

    • MJK says:

      11:09am | 19/12/12

      “I always have to put fools in their place. I cannot let it lie because fools are allowed to vote and the more we let them speak the more they convince themselves of their foolishness.”

      Then why didn’t you put PJ ‘in his place’????

    • Noisy says:

      03:47pm | 19/12/12

      Oh my! Tubesteak, you would be of more use as a T- bone steak. Your ranting is mere whinging and a waste of space on this page.

      “if you don’t like the price don’t pay for it and find an alternative such as public transport”
      I do agree that we should make better use of public transport but not for the reason you are suggesting which is to avoid high petrol prices - we need alternatives to reduce traffic congestion however looking at avoiding petrol prices, using public transport could be a short term solution to drive down petrol prices due to decreased demand if it really is market forces causing the increases -  BUT first we need to have a highly reliable and efficient public transport system!! Trains that are over crowded and can be unpredictably delayed having disastrous effects on people on their way to work, meetings and other daily tasks is hardly an alternative. It seems the costs and risks of using our public transport system are greater than the forever increasing petrol prices we face. How about you suggest another alternative for us? Or better yet, sit back and have a real think about long term solutions to these problems! Not everyone can use public transport, it doesn’t go everywhere. People need to use their cars and simply saying “catch a bus or a train” is no ones idea of an educated and even plausible solution. Strike one.

      Onto privacy - you are a tad simple minded  to think that the only negative outcome from companies collecting information about you is a build up of spam in your inbox. Do us all a favor Tubesteak and step out of your close minded little box and look at it this way - I think I am safe in assuming a lot if not most people do their regular shopping for groceries and other supplies and major stores like Coles and Woolworths. The frequency may vary but on average, once or twice per week or per fortnight considering various other factors. Collecting data about the products you purchase, the brands you buy, the amount you spend, your patterns of spending and frequency of spending - this isn’t just about tailored advertising, this allows these companies to build a whole profile on you and your household. Now you may like to air your dirty laundry out in public Tubes, but not everyone else does - privacy and keeping information private is imperative, that is why we have laws about protecting our privacy. Do not underestimate the value of the information in knowing what chocolate you prefer or about the rest of your shopping basket. Strike two.

      Loans and interest rates… I think you may have missed the point that Zumbo was trying to make here. The interest rates are making it increasingly difficult for younger people and emerging small businesses to acquire the necessary funding to establish themselves. Yes you are right Tubesteak, there are other alternatives to acquiring loans from places other than major banks but firstly, not all are aware of these options and secondly it can just be a preference that loans are acquired from publicly renowned and reliable sources like the major banks. I do agree that loans should not be easily handed out because this was indeed a reason that contributed to the GFC however banks are making it so difficult to repay loans with the aim to turn a large profit. If they do not follow the trends set by the RBA then what exactly are they following? Perhaps Zumbo is right in that they are defying gravity to an extent. I am not one to support our lovely government sinking their vicious teeth further into our already bleeding bank accounts but a tax that is imposed on other leeches to prevent the people from being ripped by unnecessarily high Interest rates might be exactly what we need - only of we see these taxes being injected back into our country. (anyone else praying for a Christmas miracle regarding this?) at this point Tubesteak, your views are flawed - introducing a new tax wi.. Not create a financial crisis, rather people defaulting on their loans and being unable to pay now, people not being able to own a house in retirement because of high interest rates making their loan repayment time increase and requiring government assistance - these are the factors that are going to contribute to another financial crisis. I believe dear Tbone that is strike three. 

      You’re out! 

      Zumbo this article gives great Insight and opinions and is a good building block for further research into issues that need to be addressed with urgency.       

       
       

    • Sickemrex says:

      07:24am | 19/12/12

      Online shopping - no driving or parking involved.

    • Colin says:

      08:26am | 19/12/12

      @ Sickemrex

      “Online shopping - no driving or parking involved.”

      Yes, obviously, that’s how I always get my petrol; on line…

    • Phil S says:

      10:25am | 19/12/12

      @Colin: I think the point is you don’t need (as much) petrol if you shop online…

      Also, only part of the article was complaining about petrol. Sickemrex appears to be addressing the complaints about the parking cost too…

    • Colin says:

      11:06am | 19/12/12

      @ Phil S

      Yes, Phil, I realise these things but acknowledging them would get in the way of my being sarcastic, so… grin

    • expat says:

      08:24am | 19/12/12

      You the consumer ultimately sets the price of any product or service, you have the option to buy or not to buy at a particular price. The government are the ones you should be lobbying to reduce regulation and allow increased competition into all markets.

      The taxi industry is a prime example of government regulation that has resulted in zero service and seriously high tariffs.

      Don’t even get me started with the ACCC and most of the consumer laws, it really demonstrates how stupid a large proportion of the population actually is.

    • Ted says:

      08:30am | 19/12/12

      Keeping an illegal boat passenger on Nauru costs $328,500 a year.

      It is time for our Unions to demand a wage of $328,500 a year to restore the “Lucky Country” in which everybody is equal without any preferences.

    • Achmed says:

      08:52am | 19/12/12

      I started reading this “article” expecting to find an in-depth analysis on petrol pricing.  It turned out to be just a rant that was disjointed and lacking any real research or facts.
      The first place I would start in any discussion about petrol pricing would be with the Liberals under Fraser imposing the fuel excise and linked the Aust fuel price to Singapore, then how the Liberals under Howard refused to remove the excise but still imposed the GST - so we pay a tax on a tax.
      Then with the high Australian dollar why isn’t fuel cheaper?  Imports are cheaper when the dollar is higher, but it seems that only applies to plasma TV’s and new cars etc, but not fuel.

    • Michael says:

      10:51am | 19/12/12

      I think you need to go to a dedicated news site for news, this one is an opinion site which is why yours and mine appear here daily. If people were paying for this i don’t think many of us would get a look in.

    • SoapBox says:

      08:56am | 19/12/12

      In WA we have a thing called Fuel Watch.  The fuel prices are on a website for all to see.

    • I hate pies says:

      08:58am | 19/12/12

      Don’t forget folks - everytime you fill your tank 42 cents per litre is going to the government

    • PsychoHyena says:

      09:04am | 19/12/12

      I hate high petrol prices, 151.9 where I live. However the place I choose to go to has excellent employees and so I want to support them. Supply and demand plays a role in petrol prices being higher in some locations than others.

      If you are selling petrol in one location that gets a large number of consumers through then you will increase the price to either a) Increase your profit margin or b) reduce the number of consumers and hopefully have them buy from one of your locations that doesn’t perform so well.

      Let’s not forget that there must be a minimum price regardless for the petrol station to purchase the fuel, store the fuel, power the pumps, man (or woman) the station, etc all before even thinking about making a profit.

    • SoapBox says:

      10:54am | 19/12/12

      $1.50…I dream of such low prices.  $1.70 for diesel and thats in town.  Around $2.25 to refuel as I travel between Broome and Hedland.
      I work for Govt and my pay packet is the same as those in the metro

    • Leigh says:

      09:33am | 19/12/12

      Get on a bus! Consumers, not the totally useless ACCC, are the ones who can get petrol prices down. If people used car only when there was no alternative, the prive of petrol would soon come down.

      We live in a market economy. Make it work!

    • Gerry W says:

      09:44am | 19/12/12

      Yes we pay taxes but when the EPA has 2 people handling Noisy Vehicles and it takes 6 mths to stop annoying people and get them off the road what hope have we got. Then they fake the test and there is another 6 mths to get a retest. Re petrol people from overseas have asked me why do they change the prices every day almost.

    • Anubis says:

      09:57am | 19/12/12

      When petrol reached the 150c pl level in 2010 it was due to oil going over $120 US per barrel and the Australian dollar only being worth about 63c US. The oil companies then argued that every dollar per barrel increase equated to 1c per litre at the pumps. Worked fine for them when prices went up but not so fine for us when prices went down.

      Currently oil is a bit over $100 per barrel but the Aus$ is worth over $1.04 US. and we are still paying $1.50 plus per litre. Increased margins plus we are all paying for the supermarkets 4c pl discount vouchers. Petrol pricing is one of the biggest rip-offs seen in Australia.

    • Nostromo says:

      02:00pm | 19/12/12

      Too bloody true Anubis! Never mind all the ‘temporary’ petrol subsidies from yesteryear that never got removed.
      By my calcs that’s almost *double* what we should be paying flat rate, not taking CPI into account, close enough. In another time we would have organised a militia, grabbed our (semi)automatic weapons and…oh wait.

    • PW says:

      03:33pm | 19/12/12

      The LOWEST the Aussie has been since the start of 2010 is 83cents US.

      Currently oil (the oil Australia buys) is quite a bit over $US100. Currently around $110 but its been falling lately.

      Petrol is not overly expensive, the opposite in fact. Try going a bit easier on the right foot, it works wonders.

    • John Oh says:

      10:28am | 19/12/12

      Most people should realise that voting for business people in any government position is detrimental to their personal life. This is how these companies evolve. Stop it or you will go blind paying them! For parking, fuel, water, electricity gas council rates taxes etc. Australians have been voting for these economic terrorists for years ,and havent seen through them yet.
      Please note there are idiots and spin doctors online who post here and in other places. Paid by companies who benefit from refuting negative comments Perhaps Leigh is one of these.
      Fuel watch, is nonsense at the city level… It should be able to operate at the wholesale level…relating it to the retail level. ACCC is both a toothless tiger and reinforces business when it can only operate on complaints….
      THE EPA is even more useless, looking at small target who wont fight back, as it has been given bb bullets instead of real ammunition to sort out companies like Safeway and other retailers….

    • Gerry W says:

      11:09am | 19/12/12

      Yes a shame we can still not get a real Government that cares for the people of Australia instead only Big Monopolies.

    • Sam says:

      11:28am | 19/12/12

      This is just the price you pay for living in a capitalist society. Fortunately, there is something you can do about it. If you’re concerned about petrol prices and parking, try using public transport, carpooling or cycling instead. If you’re concerned about the interest rates of the big banks, look at some smaller banks and credit unions, they usually offer a much lower rate. Or move to China.

    • AFR says:

      11:58am | 19/12/12

      Another predictable Zumbo article. Nearly holiday time - rant about Colworths and petrol pricing, and wait for outrage from commentators.

      From my experiences internationally, when compared to wages etc, petrol is pretty cheap here compared to other countries.

      Don’t want Colworths to keep ripping you off? STOP BUYING SHIT FROM THEM! .

    • VJR says:

      02:48pm | 19/12/12

      PJ you do sound like a liberal stooge do they actual pay people like you to trawl the punch and write such silly rubbish come on get yourself a life.

    • James O says:

      04:02pm | 19/12/12

      Just a reminder: the only thing that is guaranteed in life is death and taxes.

 

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