PRICE HIKE: Dalby man Geoff Farquharson said families and workers suffered when fuel prices were hiked up.
PRICE HIKE: Dalby man Geoff Farquharson said families and workers suffered when fuel prices were hiked up. Michael Doyle

Downs motorist held to ransom at the bowser

DARLING Downs motorists have had their pockets picked by recent fuel prices, according to the state's largest automotive club.

The RACQ has claimed petrol stations across the Darling Downs have ripped-off customers by hiking up the price of fuel by up to nine cents per litre in a week.

The motoring body claims Toowoomba residents on average were paying 146.5c/l for unleaded fuel last week, a jump of 8.6 cents.

The heavy hit to the wallet was felt more in Dalby, as motorists had their fuel hiked up by nine cents to 149.9c/l.

RACQ spokeswoman Renee Smith said there wasn't any reason for the massive spike for Darling Downs motorists.

"This is why we've been campaigning for real time petrol price data to be made mandatory, so regional Queensland drivers can hold their local service stations to account,” Ms Smith said.

"This is a joke. We're getting ripped off and servos raking in almost 17c/l in indicative retail margins is just not on.”

Sudden spikes in fuel price can have major effects to people like Geoff Farquharson, who extensively drives for work and family commitments.

He said he had noticed a dramatic rise in fuel recently and said it could make balancing the weekly budget difficult.

"About two weeks ago fuel (e10) went from 138c/l to 148c/l basically overnight,” Mr Farquharson said.

"My daughter plays representative football ... so there is a lot of practice and a lot of training that goes on in Brisbane.

"We'll be expecting to do at least 60,000km this year just on football alone, and work wise it is approximately the same.”

Mr Farquharson said between him and his wife, they would make three round trips from Dalby to Toowoomba each week, on top of the long treks to Brisbane for their daughter's football matches.

He believes if the major fuel retailers continue to charge highly for petrol, both families and workers will feel the pinch.

"I am not the only person who would be affected by the cost of travelling,” he said.

"If you want your kids to do well, you will makes sure they go to the appropriate training and appropriate meetings, but you have to find the money somewhere.

"It is a worry (as a contract worker) that it is going to slow work down because people are not going to be able to afford things.”

"People these days are putting off essential or necessary work.”


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