RAISING the fuel levy, as announced in the federal budget, will add insult to injury for already struggling families, according to local service stations.
With Gladstone fuel prices already among the highest in the region, paying more at the bowser is a move that has local service station operator Vicky Terek bracing for a customer backlash.
"We are the face in between the companies, the government and the people buying the fuel, so, yeah, we hate it too," she said.
"It's going to be hard for a lot of people because a lot of people do come into the store with just a handful of change to get their fuel.
"Millionaires are going to be fine, it's going to be mums and dads that live pay to pay ... you see them come in and they are doing it tough.
"It's going to make a real impact on their lives."
The government plans to use the revenue raised from higher fuel prices to fund new road projects.
Filling up her car on Wednesday, Robyn Sinclair was sceptical the money would find its way back to the region.
"There's all the promises of the earth, but then nothing happens," she said.
The government's fuel excise is currently 38.1c a litre but it will rise in line with inflation twice a year in a move that appears likely to cost motorists $3.7bn over four years, according to estimates from the Australian Automobile Association.