Ballina petrol stations are starting to offer more competitive prices but only after 6pm.
Ballina petrol stations are starting to offer more competitive prices but only after 6pm.

Call to boycott 'rip off' Ballina petrol stations

A BALLINA councillor has called on residents to boycott local petrol stations and find cheaper options within the shire as bowsers within the town offer different pricing at daytime and night time.

Readers have contacted The Northern Star with evidence many Ballina petrol stations offer different prices before and after 6pm, with differences of up to 20c between daytime and night time.

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Councillor Phil Meehan called on people to look for cheaper options outside the town if needed.

"I filled up in Broadwater earlier this week," he said.

"It's a shame, but I don't believe Ballina residents should be faithful to our local petrol sellers if they perceive that they are ripping them off.

"The average car has a 60 litre tank, so it's a significant amount of money to have petrol 20c more expensive at a time when we are not just on a pandemic, but also in a significant economic downturn."

Cr Meehan confirmed he has seen such price variations in Ballina.

"At a time when, I believe, the broader community should be supportive and simpathetic to each other, from the proprietors of the petrol stations I don't believe that's happening, with the way the prices have been maintained at, I would call, an artificially high level," he said.

Cr Meehan said he had seen lower prices after dark in at least two Ballina petrol stations.

"I think there is a lack of competition, that's all we can call it."

He said two petrol stations dropped their unleaded petrol prices on Tuesday night to 91 and 101c.

"This morning (Wednesday), as with everybody else, it's back at 121c or even higher, across the board."

Cr Meehan said offering cheaper petrol prices in the evening is unfair to the most disadvantaged in the community.

"Older people in our community, for instance, won't go out after 6pm, they are having their dinner, they are not thinking about taking advantage of petrol prices," he said.

"I believe if stations have the capacity to offer lower prices they should offer them throughout the day, not in selected periods."