Tasmania's fuel prices under fire

MYTHS about fuel price gouging at Christmas time are false.

Tasmanian motorists are not stung with exorbitant fuel prices during the festive season, ``the gouge lasts all year'', Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania spokesman Vince Taskunas said yesterday.

``Tasmanian motorists pay much more for their fuel than they should,'' Mr Taskunas said.

``It's going to be a merry Christmas for fuel retailers indeed.''

Drivers across the state paid between 10 to 15 a litre more for their petrol than their counterparts in Melbourne or Adelaide in 2013, according to the RACT.

Mr Taskunas has called for independent fuel retailers to break away from the major players and plunge their prices over Christmas and the new year. 

``At the moment, all you get are prices that are very close together at most, if not all, retail outlets,'' he said. 

``Smaller retailers should instigate some discounting wars, and see if they can win customers back from the big retailers.''

THE lobby group's suggestion follows the release of a report on the prices, costs and profits of unleaded petrol by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Figures revealed in the report showed total profits earned from petrol products across Australia jumped by almost 22 per cent between 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Total profits on petrol products have risen more than fourfold since 2008-09.

``A lot of money has been made out of petroleum products this year,'' Mr Taskunas said.

``Retailers should spread the cheer around. Cheap fuel would be a fantastic Christmas present for Tassie motorists.''

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