Tweed set to lose fuel subsidy

TONY Nash, owner of the new BP super-service station at Chinderah fears his business, and many other Tweed petrol retailers, will be forced to close if the NSW Government goes ahead today with a proposal to axe the northern NSW fuel subsidy.

The move, which is part of a "horror" mini-budget, is expected to save the government $44 million a year and push fuel prices up by between eight and nine cents a litre south of the Queensland border.

Mr Nash and other near-border petrol station operators say Queenslanders heading south will simply buy fuel north of the border and locals will head north.

Even after Queensland scraps its fuel subsidy system next year for a discount scheme for Queensland drivers-licence holders, Mr Nash predicts locals will find ways to get the discount and head north.

"Fifty per cent of vehicles on my site yesterday had Queensland number plates," said Mr Nash whose $2.5million service station opened earlier this year.

"About 70 per cent of our diesel sales are to interstate truckers.

"There's no way they are going to leave Brisbane with the ability to carry a thousand litres of fuel and pay nine cents a litre more down the track."

"If we are not able to compete the business is unsustainable."

Mr Nash said he would never have bought the business "in a million years" if he had known the state government was about to axe the scheme, which makes petrol retailing just south of the state border competitive.



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