SHORT HAUL: Landscape photographer Mark Lang, from Rosebank, is curtailing his travels in his beloved Lil, his Landcruiser, bec
SHORT HAUL: Landscape photographer Mark Lang, from Rosebank, is curtailing his travels in his beloved Lil, his Landcruiser, bec

Fuel bills put stop to outback

By ZOE SATHERLEY and AAP zsatherley@northernstar.com.au

FILLING 'Lil' is draining Rosebank landscape photographer Mark Lang's pockets.

Worse, it has temporarily put an end to his long trips to outback Australia seeking the perfect picture.

"I'm restricting myself to locations closer to home because of the high cost of fuel," Mark said yesterday while filling Lil, his 1981 Toyota Landcruiser. "She's got a heart of gold, but is a very thirsty old lady."

Lil can guzzle down 130 litres in one go, and at yesterday's average prices of $1.30 per litre, that's $169 a tank.

"I usually travel all over Australia in Lil. We do lots of miles together," Mark said.

"She loves getting out on a bit of dirt and hates this city driving, but at the moment it's just too expensive to take those long trips."

The price of petrol is poised to hit $1.45 a litre this week, the Service Stations Association warns.

Chief executive Ron Bowden said prices were likely to peak at $1.45 before easing back to $1.20 to reflect lower crude prices.

"What we are seeing now is the lag effect of the huge impact when Hurricane Katrina hit the US," Mr Bowden told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"Brace yourself for the worst this week, but it should ease up a little bit after that."

Tourism operators said they were struggling as people left their cars at home or opted for cheap overseas holi- days.

n Do you have any tips for saving petrol?

Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624 3266 or email opinions@northern- star.com.au



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