ORANGE motorists are paying less for petrol than drivers in Bathurst, according to watchdog data from the NRMA.
Bowser Buster was launched by the NRMA in May last year after the organisation became increasingly frustrated at the lack of response from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which the NRMA had repeatedly called upon to investigate pump prices.
The data, which can be accessed through the NRMA website, ranks the weekly average unleaded petrol and diesel prices for more than 50 locations across NSW and the ACT from cheapest to most expensive.
Orange has delivered, on average, the third cheapest petrol prices in NSW from mid-November through to early December, according to Bowser Buster, while neighbouring city Bathurst has consistently been among the top five most expensive locations in the state to purchase fuel.
NRMA local director Graham Blight said he could not offer an official explanation for the price discrepancy between the two cities.
“When you analyse the data over a longer period you can see that this time last year Bathurst had cheaper petrol than Orange,” he said.
Mr Blight said mining activity in Orange could have a bearing on the price change .
“Orange is a very busy town and perhaps the mining business there has caused more through traffic, which has increased business and made service stations more competitive,” he said.
Mr Blight said petrol price fluctuations remained largely a mystery in Australia and continued to frustrate consumers.
He suggested the only way for communities to try and get a better price at the bowser was to put pressure on retailers.
“One strong independent can create a lot of difference and offer some real competition to the big four,” he said.
“I encourage people to support their independent in town; it mightn’t have the best looking shop or sell the full range of chips but the more business they get, the more competitive they will be on price.”