When it comes to repeat business, Viennese optometrist Alfred Pruckner must be a dream come true for the local tourist industry. Since 1995 he has toured Central Australia 16 times, every time staying for a few weeks, cruising around the bush in big hired 4WDs, taking in the well known attractions, and many not so well known. His experiences over nearly two decades make him more qualified than most to judge the region, from the standpoint of a paying tourist. ERWIN CHLANDA reports. PICTURED: Alfred and his partner, Erika, at Chambers Pillar and this week.
Fuel prices are not regulated by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC), but it says if it had evidence of prices resulting from anti-competitive conduct in breach of the law, the watchdog may take offenders to court.
Further details are coming to light about the high cost of automotive fuel in Alice Springs although the industry is still refusing to answer questions.
The informant mentioned in our report posted last week bought diesel on August 3 for about $1.53 a litre from an Alice Springs wholesaler.
According to FUELtrac the Terminal Gate Price (TPG) on that day in Adelaide was an average (across all companies) of $1.34.
The TPG is usually for full tanker loads (of at least 35,000 litres) for product paid cash on delivery (COD).
Transport to Alice Springs is believed to be 7 to 9 cents a litre. Assuming it's 8 cents, that gives the wholesaler a margin of 11 cents a litre – three cents more than the retailer is getting. That's a mark-up of $3850 for the 35,000 litres, of course delivered in bulk.
The Alice Springs News Online has asked the wholesaler for a comment. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
When it comes to the exorbitant fuel prices in Central Australia it's not about the bottom line but about the top line – namely the yellow one in the two graphs above.
It shows what you are paying at the pump compared to the Terminal Gate Price (TGP, mauve line) and the Singapore Parity price (blue line).
And the gap is what the dealers are pocketing.
In the last three months that margin grew massively: the TGP dropped significantly but the dealers hardly adjusted their prices, so that the margin, per liter, is now around 40c.
That's around five times the average around Australia. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.