Fuel subsidy loss will increase pain at the bowser
PAYING for petrol once the Northern New South Wales fuel subsidy is scrapped might be a tall order for some.
While the loss of the subsidy is raising the ire of residents and trucking companies from Byron Bay to Bonalbo, service station owners near the border say the change, which is due to hit on June 30 next year, could drive them to the wall.
Chinderah Bay Drive service station owner Tony Nash said many of his customers didn't realise they would wear the brunt of the NSW Government's plan.
Currently, the fuel subsidy is split into zones, to match the Queensland Government's subsidy next to the border. The subsidy starts at 8.35 cents a litre on the border, and decreases steadily as it moves south, dropping to 1.67 cents per litre at Nambucca Heads.
Mr Nash said he would go broke if the fuel subsidy was cut.
He said his profit margin would stay the same, so the costs would be passed on to the motorists. That would push more people north to buy cheaper fuel in Queensland and cut competition among the remaining service stations on the NSW side of the border.
But even close to the border there are some who would sooner pay more for fuel than cross the border to get it - such as Kingscliff resident Phil Moase.
He filled up at Chinderah for $1.13 a litre yesterday and said 'every- one hates paying more for petrol'.
Mr Moase said he appreciated the subsidy, particularly after recently seeing the higher prices at servos in Melbourne. However, he added: “I will never go over the border to buy petrol. The saving would not be worth it.
“Looking at the current price of a barrel of oil it should be even cheaper. We are always ripped off.”
Tweed MP Geoff Provest called the decision to scrap the subsidy a 'knee-jerk reaction' by the NSW Government.
He said the scrapping of the scheme would have huge ramifications at the border and called for an economic impact study to be completed before the subsidy was revoked.