Fuel flares for Easter

By LUIS FELIU

PETROL prices around the Tweed yesterday were jacked up by at least 10 cents a litre from the previous day, increasing fears that motorists will face skyrocketing fuel prices over Easter.

Almost like clockwork on Thursday morning, bowser prices across the Tweed for un- leaded petrol (ULP) rose from around $1.10-$1.13 a litre earlier this week, up to around $1.23 yesterday.

At Murwillumbah and the Tweed Coast, where ULP prices have remained steady and higher than those at Tweed Heads, pump prices for ULP yesterday were around the $1.22 a litre mark.

In Queensland, where the state government makes available an 8 cents a litre discount, prices are expected to reach record levels in the lead-up to the Easter holidays.

Price monitor FUELtrac spokesman Chris Kable said the pricing cycles in the major cities went high on Wednesday/Thursday "and that's the problem because Easter starts on a Friday".

"We are suggesting people buy their petrol on Tuesday," Mr Kable said.

FUELtrac general manager Geoff Trotter said national prices would return to the record levels of September 2005, largely due to rising world oil prices.

NSW Minister for Small Business David Campbell said the states motorists faced skyrock- eting fuel prices because of Federal Government inaction.

The latest price hike, Mr Campbell said, was another reminder of the government's failure to protect consumers and business from price gouging and unfair practices.

"The Federal Government must step in now to stop major fuel companies ripping off consumers," he said.



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