Ballina councillors have criticised large discrepancies in prices at petrol stations across the region.
Ballina councillors have criticised large discrepancies in prices at petrol stations across the region. FILE

PETROL INQUIRY: 'Ballina Shire is being screwed'

LARGE discrepancies in fuel prices have drawn the ire of councillors in Ballina Shire.

Councillor Phillip Meehan brought before Thursday's Ballina Shire Council meeting a plan to approach the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation, for both bodies to launch inquiries into why Ballina fuel prices are regularly well above other areas.

This followed a recent visit to Brisbane in which he was "flabbergasted” by the difference in prices between Brisbane and Ballina.

At the time, he noted a Brisbane service station with unleaded petrol selling for 112.9 cents a litre, with 95 for 124.9. He said this was about 45 cents per litre cheaper than Ballina on the same day.

"I'd urge councillors to support their community in having council approach the ACCC to seek an inquiry of fuel prices in Ballina,” Cr Meehan said.

The council also heard from a resident who said small-town servos in other parts of the Northern Rivers were often inexplicably cheaper than Ballina.

Premium 95 was priced between 153.9 and 160.9 cents per litre in Ballina on Thursday.

The same fuel was available for 145.9 cents a litre at all Lismore service stations, 141.9 to 144.9 in Casino, 144.9 to 149.9 in Kyogle, 141.9 at Woodburn, 155.9 in Byron Bay and 126.9 at Brunswick Heads.

Cr Ben Smith agreed they had to raise concerns about the cost to Ballina residents.

"I think Ballina Shire's petrol ... has always been historically higher than other places,” Cr Smith said.

"Ballina Shire is being screwed.

"This is an issue we could agree is a Federal Government issue but something like this, which is such an obvious con ... I think it's really important to make our position as clear as possible.

"We shouldn't accept it. We should be openly saying it's not good enough.

"There is an obvious disparity that cannot be justified.”

Cr Nathan Willis said the NRJO might be able to help achieve "something more equitable” for the Ballina Shire.

"I'd urge councillors to support their community in having council approach the ACCC to seek an inquiry of fuel prices in Ballina,” Cr Meehan said.

Councillors unanimously supported the motion.



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