Sydney’s record low petrol prices have had some flow on effects in Mudgee but it remains one of the most expensive towns to fill up in the state.
Mudgee’s cheapest fuel was found at the United Service Station on Friday – 124.9 cents per litre – compared to Sydney’s lowest price of 107.9 cents per litre.
According to the NRMA’s Browser Buster, Mudgee had the third highest unleaded petrol price (151.2 cents per litre) in NSW in the week before Christmas.
Of the 54 towns ranked a week earlier it had the fifth highest price (150.9 cents per litre) – Parkes was the most expensive at 154.7 cents per litre.
NRMA director, Graham Blight said Mudgee has always been one of the highest priced towns in NSW.
“The issue is a lack of competition,” he said.
“It’s isolated. You have to encourage people to support the cheapest. It’s people power, people have done it in other towns.”
He said the fuel price in Coffs Harbour dropped within seven days when motorists phoned through the cheapest prices to a local radio station.
“[Service stations] keep their prices up because people support them,” Mr Blight said.
“People say: ‘I’ve been going to the same guy for 20 years why should I change?’ - then don’t complain about the price.”
Ian Forrester has been testing the waters for a potential campaign, posting the the cheapest petrol price to the Mudgee Community Group Facebook page.
“I’m sick of the overpriced fuel here in Mudgee,” Mr Forrester said.
“If we support the smaller guys the bigger guys will have to come on board.
“In Mudgee you’ve got an hour and a half before you can fuel up and I think a lot of companies prey on that.”
He said the explanation that transport costs bump up prices “doesn’t wash” with him.
“It’s a known fact if you head towards Dubbo you come through here.”
In the two weeks between December 7 and 21, Dubbo fuel prices were 12 and 13 cents cheaper than Mudgee, 12 and eight cents cheaper in Orange and nine cents cheaper in Bathurst.
Manager of Mudgee’s United Service Station, Kooner Singh, said he is often asked why Sydney prices are dramatically cheaper.
“I just try to look after everyone,” said Mr Singh, whose family purchased the Sydney Road business in 2012.
“Some people try and make three or four cents [per litre] but others are trying to make 20 and 30 cents and that’s why people are not happy.”
Regular customer, Trevor Ivers, has been supporting the new business.
“I did [know he was the cheapest in town] but I also support him because he supplies our gas,” Mr Ivers said.
“I’m also supporting him because he’s trying to establish himself.”
Experts say the lower than usual price could continue for several months.
People power at the pump
The Central Western Daily’s Pump Action campaign to bring down the prices of petrol has had little impact on Orange prices but a significant drop in petrol prices followed the same campaign in Bathurst.
The Pump Action campaign calls on motorists to post on social media where to go for the cheapest fuel.
The idea is people power can force fuel companies to lower prices so the central west prices are more in line with metropolitan areas.
Petrol in Bathurst has dropped about one cent in a week but Orange prices remain steady.