Petrol prices tipped to rise by 1.2 cents a litre

PETROL prices on the Northern Rivers are among both the most expensive and cheapest in the state, according to recent figures from NRMA.

At 162 cents per litre, Ballina recorded the sixth highest price in the state out of 54, behind the rural towns of Bega, Cooma, Moruya, Moss Vale and Yass.

Despite their proximity to Ballina, both Lismore and Casino have made it into the top 10 cheapest locations for unleaded and diesel fuels.

Tweed Heads was at the top of the unleaded fuel-saving list, offering 148.8 cents per litre, followed closely by Casino in third place with 152.9 cents a litre, and Lismore holding the ninth spot with 155.4 cents per litre.

NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the combination of no independent petrol stations in Ballina and an increased number of visitors during the summer holiday season, were the most likely causes of the high prices.

"A major factor for the price difference is whether or not there's independents in the town... but it could be a seasonal issue," he said.

"The fact that Ballina is 10 cents a litre more expensive than Casino would be alarming. So certainly we would hope those prices would come down.

"To have that consistently high price, there's no justification."

Popular holiday towns Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie have also recorded relatively high petrol prices.

Last month, both Lismore and Casino remained in the top five for cheapest unleaded petrol prices across the state, according to the Bowser Buster website, which ranks the weekly average petrol prices of more than 50 locations in NSW.

According to the NRMA website, petrol prices are expected to rise 1.2 cents a litre at the high point of the next price cycle.

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