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Dubbo no longer a cheap place for fuel

Motorists are forking out marginally less for petrol at Dubbo than they were a fortnight ago, but the bargain prices west of the mountains are still to be found at Forbes and Lithgow.

The average daily price for one litre of unleaded petrol at Dubbo on Tuesday was 129.8 cents, the latest figures published by the state’s peak motoring group showed.

The National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) ranked Dubbo at number 43 on its list of more than 50 locations in NSW and Canberra, from cheapest to most expensive.

But some inland centres boasted some of the cheapest petrol prices in the state on Tuesday.

Forbes continued its long run of competitiveness, with the average daily price of 115.9 cents per litre, the NRMA data showed.

Lithgow offered 119.8 and Bathurst was not far behind with an average price of 120.3 cents.

Dubbo on Tuesday was consistent with the result for the week ending December 20, when it had an average price of 129.8 cents and was in 40th position, the NRMA data showed.

For the week ending December 13 the average price was 1.5 cents higher – 131.3 cents – but it ranked at number 38.

It’s a far cry from early March this year when Dubbo had the second-cheapest average price, according to the NRMA data.

But consumers may yet get a win with news they may soon be able to find the cheapest petrol near them with the help of apps powered by data that the country’s biggest petrol retailers tried to keep secret.

The competition watchdog has ended court proceedings against the retailers after the information service they use to exchange pricing data agreed to share the information with the public.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has long been concerned about the exchange, operated by a company called Informed Sources, which allowed retailers including BP, Caltex, Woolworths and Coles to exchange site-by-site petrol price information every 15 to 30 minutes.

The ACCC alleged that the retailers’ ability to communicate price data with each other could crimp competition.

But under a new agreement with BP, Caltex, Woolworths and 7-Eleven, Informed Sources has agreed to provide the regular pricing data to consumers at the same as it is provided to the retailers.

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