A report released today by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), says the cost of petrol price margins has been “steeply increasing” over the last six years, particularly in regional areas such as Canberra, with gross retail margins jumping 7.1 per cent, from 7.5 in 2008-09 to 14.6 in 2012-13.
AAA Chief Executive Andrew McKellar says the areas affected most included Darwin and regional NT, Perth and regional WA, Hobart and regional Tasmania and Canberra.
“It’s deeply concerning that, this election campaign, politicians have ignored one of the major cost of living pressures for families in regional areas,” Mr McKellar says.
“Our analysis shows families in regional towns are being particularly hard hit and it appears major retailers have increased petrol price margins in a number of city and regional markets where there is less competition. Motorists in many of the worst affected areas are paying significantly more for petrol than they should be. We are concerned that this is a result of a lack of competition.”
But Australia’s major supermarkets have hit back at the claims, saying that healthy competition was actually helping to “manage the cost of fuel.”
Australian National Retail Association CEO Margy Osmond says there was no evidence that competition in the fuel market was decreasing, with the facts actually pointing to growth in the market share of independent retailers.
“Over the last 10 years the market share of independent retailers has tripled in size, increasing to 17 per cent,” she says.
“Fuel retail continues to be a very competitive market, and this competition is continuing to drive lower prices for the Australian community.”