Anger is growing over the lack of movement of petrol prices in Mount Isa which remains 40c dearer a litre than Brisbane prices.
Weekly average international crude oil prices have decreased by around US$50 per barrel since January and this has largely flowed through to Australian wholesale petrol prices, which have decreased by around 50 cents per litre in the same period.
However the savings are not being passed on at the bowser in regional centres.
As of Thursday unleaded petrol in Mount Isa was 147.9c at all city centre outlets while there was some variation in diesel prices which was retailing for around 136.9c.
Cairns-based Labor Senator Nita Green said fuel retailers were continuing to rip off regional Queenslanders at the bowser and called on the Government to stop being soft on competition policy.
Senator green said the Government needed to give the ACCC the powers it needs to go after petrol retailers who are making unfair profits in a time of crisis.
"Global oil prices have collapsed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but the price of unleaded fuel remains more than 20 cents per litre higher than it should be in Mackay, Townsville and Cairns and in Mount Isa, fuel is 40 cents per litre higher than it should be," Senator Green said.
"Meanwhile, fuel prices in parts of south-east Queensland have dropped below 90 cents per litre, according to RACQ's Fair Fuel Finder app."
Bob Katter has also written to the ACCC about fuel prices.
Mr Katter urged people to boycott Coles and Woolworths outlets.
"The smaller independents, local owner-operators and Australian-owned United Petroleum are the ones giving us a fair go on the current prices," Mr Katter said.
"United Petroleum also produces Australian-made petrol and ethanol which is commendable."
ACCC Chair Rod Sims said fuel prices are generally higher in regional Australia due to lower population and demand, meaning there are fewer petrol stations, which often leads to less competition. There are also higher costs for transport and storage of fuel, and less convenience sales which can support the operation costs of petrol retailers when fuel prices are low.
Mr Sims said price changes in regional centres can lag up to six weeks behind changes in the larger capital cities, because the turnover of stock is generally lower in the country and the reduction in demand for petrol due to current travel restrictions may have further exacerbated the lag.
"We have previously found that the lack of vigorous and effective competition in some regional locations was a major reason for higher prices in those locations," Mr Sims said.
"Especially at this difficult time, retailers must not take advantage of the situation to increase their profits, but should pass on savings to motorists."
None of the fuel companies the North West Star spoke to responded to our requests for comment however a spokesperson from Viva Energy, which sells fuel as Shell, provided a one line response to the ABC about Mount Isa fuel costs and said they "endeavour to be competitive within our local markets, and relative to competitors."
Mount Isa fuel prices according to Petrol Spy;
United ULP 147.9c Diesel 136.9c
Caltex (unmanned) Diesel 134.9c
Caltex (Woolworths) ULP 147.9c Diesel 136.9c
Shell ULP 147.9c Diesel 136.9c
Puma ULP 147.9c Diesel 137.9c
While you are here subscribe to our weekly email to your inbox at 6am every Friday