While the average price of unleaded petrol across much of regional Queensland had risen in February, Cairns and Townsville averages had fallen slightly to 131.2 cents per litre (cpl) and 129cpl respectively.
RACQ spokesperson Lucinda Ross said the recent flooding in Townsville could have been behind the fall, as retailers often did not increase their prices during natural disasters.
“Last month, as floodwaters receded in north Queensland, so too did fuel prices,” Ms Ross said.
“Some servos were forced to close their doors due to electricity outages and road closures and those that remained open tended not to change their prices, despite the other global factors at play.
“Global oil prices have recently reached a three-month high of US$66 a barrel, and that’s chewed into retail margins so many servos across regional Queensland have hiked prices up to 10cpl. The good news for Cairns and Townsville drivers is these cities bucked that trend with indicative retail margins dropping by 4.8cpl and 3.9cpl respectively, since January.”
Ms Ross said regardless of how fuel prices trended, motorists needed to make sure they only supported the service stations which charged the lowest prices in their area.
“We’ve seen Queensland’s fuel price reporting trial, which kicked off in December, is also helping to drive prices down as it’s generating high levels of competition among retailers in many markets,” she said.
“The trial means the power is truly at our fingertips, so we need to use the information we have available on apps and websites, like RACQ’s Fair Fuel Finder, to find the cheapest servo to fuel up.”
The February 2019 Fuel Price Report could be viewed on RACQ’s website.