We're being screwed over oil: Fuel price group says
A FUEL monitoring group has slammed the major airlines, the freight industry, and cab, bus, train and ferry operators for failing to pass on the massive savings from the slump in the oil price.
Geoff Trotter, from Fueltrac, said petrol and diesel prices were at six-year lows and had been for several months yet none of the savings were being passed on to the wider community.
"Apart from the fact that a few motorists are getting a bit of discount on petrol, the rest of us are getting screwed," Mr Trotter said.
He said the wholesale price of petrol peaked on July 1 last year at 145 cents a litre, with people paying 165.9 at the bowser.
"It has dropped at least 45 cents since then," Mr Trotter said.
"There has been a lot of focus on the petrol price, but why has there been no decrease in cab fares, bus fares, train fares or airfares?
"Petrol and diesel make up 20 to 30% of the running costs of trains, buses, planes and ferries. What's the government doing about that?
"People talk about the cost of living and electricity, but if you do a calculation the reduction available from the decrease in oil will make any electricity reduction look like small change.
"A truck on average takes 600 litres of diesel at $192 for every full tank in savings we should have had.
"This should have been passed through to the cost of freight delivered around Australia.
"The fuel surcharge (on airfares) has gone up 13 times since it was introduced in 2004, but despite the fact we've had a drop in the cost of airline fuel, we haven't seen the surcharge go down."
The RACQ's Michael Roth defended some of the pricings, but agreed airlines should be looking to cut back the fuel surcharge.
He said it wasn't so easy when it came to freight costs and public transport.
"Fuel in total is about 3% of the cost of many items at grocery stores. It will only make a few cents difference.
"Fuel is also a minor aspect of rail and bus operating costs, which are already subsidised,'' Mr Groth said.
"It is important to remember fare only counts for about 25% of the cost, three-quarters is still paid for by the government.''
A Virgin spokesman said the fuel surcharge only applied to flights to and from the United States.
"We continually review these surcharges but have nothing to announce at this time," he said.
YESTERDAY'S FUEL PRICE:
- Rainbow Fuel Caloundra: 115.9
- Caltex Currimundi: 116.9
- Caltex Nambour: 117.9