Hysteria about petrol prices frequently gets more attention than deserved. Petrol prices in Cairns are indeed towards the the top of the national price range, however a recent report that motorists were being ripped off by 10c a litre may be more a regional characteristic. National average prices are down around 11% in recent months
A comparison of Cairns and Townsville below shows that the difference is comparable to that before March this year. Petrol prices in Townsville subsequently increased more than in Cairns. What does stand out is the stability of prices in Cairns which may be an indicator of an absence of competition.
Cairns 40 weeks
Townsville 40 weeks
Charts can be browsed at the AIP website and the patterns for Cairns and Townsville are typical of regional Queensland outside the south east corner. Prices are also more stable in regional Queensland than nationally in the regions.
The higher volatility and currently lower prices nationally reflects the competitive capital city markets. With recent volatility in oil prices and currency it will be interesting to keep a watch on this alignment in coming weeks.
National average 40 weeks
Queensland regional average 40 weeks
National regional average 40 weeks
The ACCC also monitors petrol prices with information on the pricing mechanism.There is also a fact sheet on fuel prices in regional areas.