The variation of fuel pricing is baffling

Last Friday, our family decided to take a short drive down to Laurieton to visit the Book Fair at the local school.

With the knowledge that the car would soon require petrol, the prices were checked as we passed through each of the towns and discovered huge variations.

With preference for Premium fuel (that is 98 octane), a record was made of the prices at most of the service stations that we passed on the way.

However, it is likely similar variations are reflected in the price of other fuel types.

Also, to make a level playing field, the 4c per litre voucher discount has been ignored as it is not always convenient to have those annoying little vouchers available.

The price of 98 octane in Port Macquarie was 164.9c per litre at the Shell bowser in Gordon Street and this hasn’t changed in weeks.

However, the BP fuel at Lake Cathie was 158.9 c per litre and the further south we went, the prices continued to drop until it was 151.9c per litre at the Shell North Haven. Finally, 98 octane was purchased at the Mobile North Haven for 149.9c per litre.

This is a large difference of 15c per litre or $7.50 on a full 50 litre tank.

Why is this so? Obviously, Port Macquarie is a tourist ‘hot spot’ and despite plenty of service stations to provide a competitive market, this does not happen.

The expectation is that the prices would be higher in places such as Lake Cathie, North Haven and Laurieton because there are extra distances to travel to actually deliver the fuel to the bowsers.

Therefore, this is not the reason.

The more cynical person may possibly look at the sinister aspect of collusion and price gouging. Where is the ACCC when you need them? 

Rex Toomey

Jonas Absalom Drive

Port Macquarie


Driving behaviour

It is unfortunate that we as a mobile sophisticated society are reminded regularly to have the discussion around deaths on our roads.

As someone who enjoys driving and has clocked up a few kilometers over the years I watch driver behaviour and try and consider the issue and often wonder if we are considering the issues in the wrong way.

My first enlightened observation is that we can never legislate against stupidity and none of us wants to live in a radio controlled police state where our vehicle speed is controlled by electronic tags on signs or GPS.

So maybe we need to improve on our road etiquette culture. The first thing that comes to mind and we see examples of it multiple times a day is stay on your own side of the road.

Around town and on the main roads whether through laziness or arrogance, the practice of cutting corners is rife.

So, lets start with a little respect for other drivers. Driver frustration from following someone travelling under the speed limit causes following drivers to take chances in passing, often at inappropriate speeds and locations.

Again showing a bit of respect for following drivers should be a part of our on road etiquette.

I also often wonder whether over restricted speed limits actually causes people to get drowsy and nod off. A little burst of pace at the right time actually can inject some adrennaline into your system and pep a driver up but fears of a highway patrol car just over the rise stifles the urge.

Something puzzles me about fixed and mobile radar units and the amount of warning signage that comes with them.

Are they a speed check or an intelligence test?

Are there just too many variables involved in causes of motor vehicle accidents to be able to eliminate them entirely.

Or are we actually discussing bureaucratic self justification with the current control measures that are being implemented.  

Rob Hamilton



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