FEDERAL Page MP Janelle Saffin has written to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) requesting the commission undertakes a review of petrol prices on the Northern Rivers.
Ms Saffin also requested Federal Petrol Commissioner Joe Dimasi visit the area to settle "once and for all" whether Northern Rivers motorists are being ripped off at the bowsers.
In her letter Ms Saffin also rebuts claims by University of NSW academic Professor Frank Zumbo that motorists on the North Coast are paying more for fuel than in other regional centres.
Prof Zumbo claimed reductions in the wholesale price of fuel had not been passed on to motorists in Lismore and Casino.
"I am seeking to have an ACCC review done of petrol prices in our local area given that there are many concerns being expressed by locals who feel that they are being ripped off," Ms Saffin said in her letter.
"They question why the prices stay up, when the wholesale price drops and prices go down in the city.
"It seems to take a long time for the price to drop here, giving people the impression that they are being ripped off," she said.
Ms Saffin goes on to state there is a near-absence of competition on the Northern Rivers and that the area would benefit from stronger competition.
In relation to Prof Zumbo, Ms Saffin claims his analysis of fuel price movements on the North Coast was not "what I would consider to be a rigorous analysis to make definitive conclusions as he does".
Ms Saffin said figures from consumer web site www.motor mouth.com.au "tell a different story to that being touted by Prof Zumbo, and show that the Northern Rivers is not being singled out and that, in fact, prices here are on a par with, or lower than, other regional centres".
"If we were being ripped off, I would be the first to speak out loudly and work out a way to try and effect change. I do this, however, when I am confident I have all the facts and the proper analysis," she said.
An ACCC spokesman said the commission did not comment on correspondence it received.
Seven day rolling average unleaded fuel price as at December 26 (cents per litre):
Tweed Heads South: 142.1
Sydney (Parramatta): 132.1