Fair play urged on petrol prices

FUEL retailers have been urged to give motorists a break this Easter.

Royal Automotive Club of Tasmania chief executive Harvey Lennon sounded a warning to those intent on hitching their prices up over the long weekend.

``Motorists are not silly,'' he said.

``If they think people are behaving unreasonably, they will remember and they will not come back.''

Mr Lennon said rather than focusing on profits alone, retailers should be responsible and respectful of the needs of drivers this weekend.

``Easter is a great time to go out and experience the state,'' Mr Lennon said.

``Let's not allow gouging petrol prices to make exploring Tasmania any harder than it needs to be.''

Mr Lennon said major retailers were in position of influence with setting petrol prices, and should use their influence for the good of motorists.

``The big players need to act in a way which respects the importance consumers do play,'' he said.

The RACT chief acknowledged some independent retailers found it hard to compete on price.

``There are some who probably do find it difficult,'' he said.

``Independent retailers in regional areas sometimes do need to put prices a bit higher if they're aiming to make a fair margin.''

Mr Lennon also had some advice for motorists this easter.

``People should always remember to shop around and seek out the best deal they can,'' he said.

``But also remember that fuel is a prized commodity - don't waste it.''

Mr Lennon said after approaching the consumer watchdog over petrol prices several times with ``minimal success'', the RACT was now preparing to take the issue up with the new state government.

``We will be calling on the government to intervene on behalf of Tasmanian motorists to seek a fairer deal for our road users,'' he said.

``We're looking to working through the issue of fuel prices with them in a balanced and sensible manner within the next few weeks.''

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