Petrol prices in Ballina are defying gravity.
Petrol prices in Ballina are defying gravity.

‘Highway robbery’: Petrol prices go up for no reason

LIKE in a Star Wars film, unknown, mysterious forces are defying gravity in Ballina and making petrol prices to go up.

The NRMA confirmed Friday's lowest price for regular unleaded petrol within Ballina was 127.9c, which was higher than in previous days, despite the fact that average prices in Sydney are 91c and prices are predicted to go down further.

NRMA spokeswoman, Bridget Ahern, called on Ballina drivers to fill up their cars outside Ballina to put pressure on operators.

"Unfortunately, Ballina does not have much competition in the market, so the current average is 123c, but Ballina is sitting considerably more expensive than other areas like Lismore, which as far as we are concerned, is unacceptable," she said.

"Residents should not have to be paying $1.27 for petrol, which is the cheapest you can get within Ballina at the moment.

"Our message to those retailers is to drop their prices - that is highway robbery."

Ms Ahern said, within the Ballina Shire, petrol stations in areas like Tintenbar and Newrybar were offering different prices.

"If people have time, and can go, I'd be travelling outside that area to send a message to those retailers in town that it's not acceptable to charge those prices," she said.

"You can head to Tintenbar, where it's selling for $1.20 - still expensive, but certainly not $1.27.

"In Newrybar it's at 99c - the cheapest in that shire - and for further gains, Brunswick Heads is the cheapest in the area at 96c."

Ms Ahern explained petrol prices are unregulated in Australia.

"Essentially, they can charge what they want, but this just means they are trying to take more money per litre," she said.

The Northern Star has received anecdotal evidence of petrol station changing their pricing after 6pm, something the NRMA spokeswoman said has officially been detected by the organisation in Sydney but never in regional NSW.

"That could explain why the average price reported online is different to the one I'm currently seeing online, as the average price may have been taken last night," she said.

Ms Ahern suggested Northern Rivers residents not stock up on fuel.

"That could actual damage your vehicle, so unless you are keeping some aside for your lawnmower, better not to do it," she said.

The NRMA suggests to check on fuel prices in the MyNRMA or the NSW FuelCheck apps before purchasing it.