Gladstone beating bowser blues

ALTHOUGH it may seem like petrol prices are on a continuous and unrelenting rise, residents of Gladstone should thank their lucky stars they don’t live in Miles.

The average price of unleaded fuel in Gladstone was among the lowest when compared to other towns and cities across the state in the latest monthly fuel report from RACQ.

Miles was the highest, with an average ULP price of 156.8 cents a litre.

General manager of Choice Petroleum, Grant Doran, thinks the reason Gladstone’s petrol prices are lower is due to the number of competitors in the area.

“For the size of the population, there are a lot of service stations around,” he said.

“There’s Shell, Woolies, Caltex, Choice... I think the competition is such that petrol prices stay lower.”

Despite Gladstone enjoying comparatively cheap prices, the report from RACQ indicates the average unleaded petrol price is on the rise, with May ranking as the third highest monthly average on record since June 2008.

The average unleaded fuel price in May was 147 cents per litre, exceeding the previous post-GFC high of 144.9cpl in March 2011, and registering an increase of 16.4cpl since the same time last year.

This increase comes in spite of the fact we just experienced the largest weekly oil price drop in more than two years.

RACQ executive manager of public policy Michael Roth said: “Despite the largest drop in the weekly oil price in two years, the retail margins in May were very high, indicating that the retailers have been pocketing the profits rather than passing the savings onto motorists.”

But Mr Doran said there were a lot of costs associated with petrol that members of the public may not be aware of, and it was these costs that influenced the selling prices of petrol.

“Just one of those petrol pumps costs $20,000 and that’s before they’re even installed,” he said.

“When they break down, especially if it’s somewhere a bit out of the way, like Biloela, it can cost one or two thousand dollars to get someone out there to fix them.

“It’s an expensive business.”

Mr Doran said the freight and transport of fuel was also costly.

“There are also a lot of costs associated with freight and transport, which really do add up. There is difference between the barrel price of petrol and its selling price for these reasons,” he said.

For more information on fuel prices in Gladstone and surrounds, go online to the RACQ’s website at


Fuel facts:

Gladstone fuel isn’t trucked in, but rather shipped into Gladstone port from overseas.

From there, it is sent to service stations, farms and mines, as north as Rockhampton and as south as Maryborough.

To the west, fuel is delivered as far as the border.

The fuel from Gladstone port also services the extensive needs of the mines in Emerald.


Prices around town:

Gladstone petrol stations were selling unleaded fuel at similar prices at 7pm last night.

  • Choice Petroleum, Tank St: 138.7
  • United Gladstone, French St: 138.5
  • IGA X-Press, Toolooa St: 138.9
  • BP, Dawson Highway. 139.0


Prices across the state:

Gladstone fared better than some in a comparison of the average prices of ULP in different Queensland towns and cities:

  • Toowoomba: 139.6
  • Gladstone: 142.4
  • Hervey Bay: 143.9
  • Ayr: 143.6
  • Miles: 156.8
  • Brisbane: 147.0

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