Petrol ‘price gouging’


Liam McNally

Melton MP Steve Mcghie has accused fuel outlets in Melton of price gouging and plans to raise the issue with the Consumer Affairs minister.

In parliament on March 20, Mr McGhie said that when the average statewide fuel price was $2.06 per litre, every single fuel station in Melton was selling unleaded at $2.31.

He called out Coles Express and Ampol specifically, who he said were selling unleaded for 42 cents cheaper per litre just down the road in Bacchus Marsh.

“No market, no competition, just pure price gouging in Melton at the fuel pump,” he said.

“The people of Melton are very angry, and rightly so. They are being ripped off by big fuel companies, who are getting away with it.

“To add fuel to this fire, the closer you get to the city, the cheaper the fuel is. These fuel retailers are taking Melton residents for a ride and are showing no sympathy, compassion or morality in their choice to sell fuel for 20 cents above the state average.”

Melton South resident Paul Dymock said it has been like this in Melton for years.

“It’s been awful… and it has gotten worse as the majors keep moving in,” he said.

“I end up going to Bacchus Marsh or Taylors Hill to get my fuel, then plan all my shopping around going to a cheaper fuel place, so Melton loses my money entirely.

“With a lack of public transport here you’re forced to use fueI. In this cost of living crisis…every cent counts.“

Jackie Licitra said she also leaves the central suburbs to get her fuel.

“Melton is one of the most challenged suburbs with people who cannot afford to live in other suburbs and yet we pay the highest fuel prices.

“The cost of living is already crippling households and it would be nice to not have to travel and waste hours going 20km away to fuel up.”

An Ampol spokesperson said Ampol prices each retail site independently and always aims to offer customers value for money and fuel prices will vary from site to site depending on many factors.

Coles Express is owned by Viva Energy, and a spokesperson said on Wednesday, March 20, the average fuel price in Melbourne was $2.22 cents, while Melton was $2.31.

“When comparing prices in different regions, there will always be pockets of service stations selling petrol cheaper than Melton and other areas where it is more expensive,” they said.

Consumer Affairs Minister Gabrielle Williams was contacted for comment.