RACV classifies Horsham early 2017 petrol prices as reasonable but higher than in some other Victoria regions

Gordon Johnson from Ballan fills up in Horsham, which had reasonable petrol prices this week. Picture: OLIVIA PAGE
Gordon Johnson from Ballan fills up in Horsham, which had reasonable petrol prices this week. Picture: OLIVIA PAGE

HORSHAM’S petrol prices have increased by six cents per litre since Christmas, but the Wimmera has yet to see the price spikes of other regions.

The Mail-Times last surveyed Horsham’s petrol prices when Woolworths announced last year the sale of its service stations to BP.

As of Thursday afternoon, all of Horsham’s major petrol station chains were selling unleaded petrol for the same price.

Woolworths, BP, Coles Express and Caltex all displayed prices of 129.9 cents per litre before discount.

Haven General Store was significantly cheaper at full retail price, selling unleaded for 121.9 cents per litre.

Haven General Store’s manager was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

The general store’s price advantage could be halved by using a common four-cent discount at the major chains.

Some major chains offer an additional four cents off if customers spend $5 in the convenience store.

RACV fuel spokesman Michael Case said Horsham’s fuel prices were reasonable at the moment but still higher than some other regions.

“We hope that a 20 cent increase does not take hold in Melbourne and then in regional Victoria, as that would be hard to justify,” he said. 

Horsham was generally on par with most regions of Victoria on Wednesday but fuel was significantly cheaper in Geelong and along the Hume Freeway.

However, outer Melbourne drivers were paying close to $1.45 per litre.

This week, New South Wales drivers were paying $1.45 per litre in Albury while Victoria drivers just across the Murray in Wodonga were paying $1.18.

Some petrol stations around Bendigo have started to climb towards $1.45 per litre. Mr Case said the RACV did not find it justifiable for petrol stations to suddenly increase their prices by up to 25 cents.

“In Albury, it’s clear that the Sydney price has gone up and that has flowed on to regions of NSW,” he said.

“It remains to be see whether Melbourne’s price will go up as well and whether that will push up prices in regional Victoria.”

“Sometimes one station will push up their prices and the others will follow, and sometimes you have failed attempts at price rises. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned drivers to fill up as prices were set to rise in the new year.

A commission spokesperson said they had no specific advice for regional fuel users as they were only tracking the metro price cycles, which rise and fall every two weeks in Melbourne.

Mr Case said prices in regional Victoria tended to be slower in rising and falling but usually followed Melbourne’s lead.

“Country fuel prices tend to stay at the same price for longer,” he said.