ACCC petitioned to address Yarrawonga fuel prices

By Yarrawonga Chronicle

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) could be visiting Yarrawonga after being invited to review the towns fuel prices.

A petition with approximately 1200 signatures requesting a Parliamentary Inquiry into fuel prices in regional Victoria was tabled at the Victorian Government’s recent parliament sitting by Local State Member for Ovens Tim McCurdy as Yarrawonga fuel stations have been slow to pass on cheaper fuel prices seen in other towns and larger regional centres which has angered local residents.

Mr McCurdy said he has now invited the ACCC to visit the town so the matter can be dismissed or dealt with properly.

“I have written to the chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding the Yarrawonga community’s fears of collusion within the retail fuel sector,” Mr McCurdy said.

“In my correspondence I highlighted the belief that retail petrol and diesel prices appear to be fixed between competing retailers. 

“Rarely is there a difference of more than .5 of a cent between competitors and seldom is Yarrawonga’s retail price within 25-30 cents per litre of metropolitan Melbourne prices. 

“This situation has a negative flow-on effect for the town with some local residents filling up at larger country centres instead of Yarrawonga, where the cost of a tank of fuel can be $10-30 less, and they then do grocery and other shopping out of town, further hurting local business and the economy. 

“I have requested a representative from the ACCC or a delegation visit Yarrawonga to discuss the fuel price matter with residents so the perceived collusion can be either dismissed or dealt with.”

James Brogan, just one Yarrawonga resident fed up with the ongoing high petrol prices in Yarrawonga and the organiser of the online petition said enough is enough.

“Our petrol prices have been ridiculously high for long enough while towns surrounding us have experienced a change,” Mr Brogan said.

“Most of the comments on the online petition have been of the same consensus, that residents are sick and tired of fuel prices not dropping and that elevated petrol prices are unjustified for our town.

“The petition of certain residents of Victoria draws to the attention of the house the ongoing high fuel prices that are experienced in regional Victoria, in particular Yarrawonga.

“The petitioners therefore request a Parliamentary Inquiry into fuel prices in regional Victoria specifically Yarrawonga, in the Ovens Valley electorate.”