Pain at the pump for Valley

By JULIA ILES

CHEAPER petrol continues to be a pipe dream for residents of the Clarence Valley, even though metropolitan prices continue to fall.

The Australian Labor Party's Family Watch analysis has found motorists in the Federal electorate of Page, which covers the Valley, are paying extra at the bowser.

"Page drivers are spending on average around $10.12 per week extra on unleaded fuel compared to just a few months ago," Catherine King, shadow parliamentary secretary for treasury, said.

"Now the flow on effect of high petrol prices has hit other essential products."

Member for Page Ian Causley said there was a lag which occurred when prices went up and down, and that the ACCC was monitoring any rogue profiteering.

"I expect the price of petrol will come down as production is currently ahead of consumption," he said.

Grafton's average petrol prices have remained virtually unchanged at around $1.32 per litre since September 18, after skyrocketing from $1.22 on

September 4, according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum. In comparison prices in Sydney have consistently fallen in the last three weeks from $1.32 a litre to around $1.26.

Yesterday the price per barrel dropped more than a dollar from $64.10 USD to $63.07.

"Australia is pegged to the USA fuel market as for every one dollar drop per barrel, there is a drop in fuel pricing of 1 cent," Kevin Hughes, a former Shell executive and HEH petroleum consultant, said.

"The price per barrel isn't going up and the trend is still down and there's been no escalation for the last two to three weeks."

He said it was common for regional communities to lose out when it came to fuel prices.

"The country endures a double whammy as compared to metropolitan prices they also have to pay for freight," he said. "Regional areas generally go for higher margins as compared with the city as there is less demand."



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