Fuel price shockwave hits consumers

FUEL prices are hitting consumers even harder but not just at the bowser.

Businesses have worn the expense but continually high fuel prices are forcing them to pass the cost on to the public. The flow on effects from fuel price hikes are expected to increase the cost of living across the board.

Families are already feeling the pinch from rising costs of everyday household items.

Taxi Council Queensland has requested a $1 surcharge to offset high fuel prices and Gladstone's Blue and White Taxis chairman Allan Rowe said fuel costs were straining local cabbies.

'We're living in a very tight financial environment because of rego and third party (insurance) costs and now the fuel prices have started to rise, it's started to affect us,' Mr Rowe said.

'To run a taxi in regional areas costs $15,000 more then in metropolitan areas.'

The cost of running a taxi in a regional area was also affected by gas costs which ran their dual fuel taxis.

'The gas is more expensive in the regional areas ? about 20 cents difference,' Mr Rowe said.

Unfortunately there was little taxi companies could do to reduce the impact of high fuel costs other than pass the cost on to passengers.

"The only way you can make a living in the taxi world is to be on the road,'' Mr Rowe said.

Gladstone courier service, A & G Carrier Service had also been affected by high fuel prices.

The Observer first reported the effects of price rises to Tracey Anderson in July, but since then fuel prices have continued to rise.

Prices at the time forced the company to slash their Rockhampton run and increase freight charges. Ms Anderson said if fuel prices continued to rise the company would have little choice but to continue to pass the cost on to customers.

'We just have to grin and bear it,' Ms Anderson said. Central State Fuels marketing and operations manager David Thomas said servos too had been affected by fuel prices.

'We'd be selling a little bit less fuel across the board,' Mr Thomas said.

'People just don't have that extra spare cash.' Mr Thomas said service stations were always looking for the best price of fuel but there was little difference to be found and this affected their profit margin.

'The higher the price goes the more the margin is squeezed,' Mr Thomas said.

The price of fuel has seen some people turn to public transport, however buses also have to cope with high fuel cost.

As yet bus fares have not risen and Queensland Transport has said bus fares would not immediately be increased.

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