UPDATE Saturday Aug 4 at 09:40am
The Alice Springs News Online has received information from a fuel retailer which seems to contradict assertions that it are the service stations which are “ripping off” the public.
The retailer, who spoke to us on the condition of not being named, this week bought diesel for about $1.50 a liter (he gave us the exact figure). To calculate his retail price he needs to deduct the GST, add his 8 cent mark-up and apply GST to that price which finishes up around $1.58. Despite sharp drops in the benchmark price of fuel, the bowser price in Alice Springs has not decreased significantly. As the mark-up applied by our source is reasonable by national standards, this raises the question whether others in the supply chain are over-charging.
So far the industry has been stonewalling inquiries from the Alice Springs News Online.
UPDATE Friday Aug 3 at 11:30am
Alice Springs fuel retailers are continuing to line their pockets with record margins, showing no concerns for the public by failing to pass on available savings.
This is the view of Edon Bell, the General Manager of the Automobile Association of the NT which has more than 20,000 members.
He says the benchmark price for LPG Autogas has dropped from 61c on April 1 to about 33c at the beginning of this month.
To charge 109.9c a liter this week is “once again ripping off the public,” he says.
“Fuel is not a luxury item in the NT. It’s something everybody has to buy. We have no choice.
“But nobody puts any pressure on the retailers who clearly have only their own interests in mind.”
COMMENT by ERWIN CHLANDA
POSTED Thursday Aug 2 at 11:46am
Are our high and mighty aware of the NT election in three weeks’ time?
It doesn’t appear so. Let’s take it from the top.
Alice Springs tourist industry has slumped 40% (holiday makers) and 50% (backpackers) in the past 10 years.
One sector still buoyant and prospective are the 4WD enthusiasts and the grey nomads, many of whom have dual-fuel vehicles, namely gas and petrol.
On July 24 visitor Jason Trevers, from Adelaide, wrote to the Alice Springs News Online, aghast that LPG Autogas in Alice should cost twice as much as in Adelaide. You heard right: double the price. 100% more.
He responded in the comment box below our report of June 27 which was about the owners of service stations in Alice Springs who do not pass on savings to their clients when the price of petrol goes down.
We emailed last Thursday the three valiant defenders of our town, the knights in shining armor, the Alice’s principal lobbies, those who can make governments shake in their boots, namely the Town Council (via Mayor Damien Ryan), the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Central Australia.
We asked them: What will you do about this?
By Monday we had heard nothing from any of them, so we emailed a reminder.
Today is Thursday and we have still have had no response to our question.
It seems a complaint from a visitor to our town, Mr Trevers, is of no importance to these organisations.
We did a spot check in Adelaide: A Liberty servo in Pooraka and a BP one in Plympton sell LPG Autogas for 55.9 cents a liter.
The Caltex service station on the North Stuart Highway on Tuesday charged 109.9 cents (photo).
We have asked the servo’s manager to comment. We will report his comments if and when we get it.
None of the Alice Springs servos’ owners had responded to our invitation to comment about our June 27 article.
Our tourism industry is hanging by a thread, which is principally the self drive market.
These people have an excellent network, via UHF, email, websites and face to face, are constantly on the lookout for opportunities – as well as reasons not to go to places that treat them with contempt.
Over to you, leaders of the town.