Prices set to rise – buy now


World Crude Oil Prices

Over the previous week:

  • the average crude oil price rose 0.4 cents per litre; and
  • Sydney’s Terminal Gate Price for unleaded fell 0.3 cents per litre to 141.7 cents per litre.

Sydney Prices

Sydney’s most recent price cycle was 21 days – same as the previous cycle. Today is day 15 of the current cycle, with the current average price for regular unleaded petrol in Sydney at 141.6 cents per litre (Tuesday afternoon). Average prices are nearing the bottom of the price cycle at 141 cents per litre and are expected to rise shortly (see Figure 1). Similar price movements are expected to occur for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98.

The dearest point of the current cycle was Wednesday 7 May at 159.6 cents per litre for regular unleaded petrol. The corresponding prices for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98 were 158.5, 171.3 and 177.1 cents per litre respectively.

Daily Sydney Average Terminal Gate Fuel and Regular Unleaded Price

Figure 1: Daily Sydney Average Terminal Gate Fuel and Regular Unleaded Price Movements since 5 May 2014 $A (cents per litre)

Canberra, Newcastle, Central Coast and Wollongong Prices

Average Regular Unleaded and Diesel Price Movements (cents/litre)
Regular Unleaded Petrol Diesel
Region Week Ending 18 May Week Ending 11 May Difference Week Ending 18 May Week Ending 11 May Difference
Canberra 157.3 157.3 0.0 162.5 162.5        0.0
Central Coast 151.2 153.4 -2.2 160.2 160.2 0.0
Newcastle 158.3 158.8 -0.5 159.9 160.0 -0.1
Wollongong 151.0 156.8 -5.8 157.9 158.6 -0.7

Regional Prices and Bowser Buster

Average unleaded and diesel prices in most regional towns saw little price movement over the past week.

Of the 54 locations monitored by Bowser Buster, the current top five cheapest and dearest locations for average prices as at close of business 18 May 2014 were:

Cheapest Regular Unleaded Petrol                    Cheapest Diesel

Rank Location Average
Rank Location Average Price
1 Sydney 141.8 1 Sydney 155.5
2 Tweed Heads South 145.7 2 Tweed Heads South 157.4
3 Moss Vale 147.9 3 Buronga 157.9
4 Orange 148.2 4 Wollongong 157.9
5 Grafton 150.2 5 Yass 158.9

Dearest Regular Unleaded Petrol                         Dearest Diesel

Rank Location Average
Rank Location Average Price
54 Tumut 164.9 54 Tumut 170.9
53 Armidale 161.0 53 Armidale 169.2
52 Parkes 160.1 52 Cooma 169.0
51 Cooma 160.1 51 Broken Hill 169.0
50 Lithgow 160.0 50 Port Macquarie 165.5

Looking Ahead

Over the past week, the average Mogas price rose 1.6 cents per litre, the average Terminal Gate price fell 0.3 cents per litre while the Australian dollar fell 0.1 cents against the US dollar. Given these market forces, unleaded petrol prices should rise 1 cent per litre over the next price cycle.

Average regular unleaded prices in Sydney should range between 141 cents per litre (at the low point of the current price cycle) and 157 cents per litre (at the high point of the next price cycle)

The average price ranges for E10, Premium 95 and Premium 98 should be as follows:

  • E10 – a low point of 139 cents per litre and a high point of 155 cents per litre
  • Premium 95 – a low point of 152 cents per litre and a high point of 168 cents per litre
  • Premium 98 – a low point of 157 cents per litre and a high point of 173 cents per litre.

Average diesel prices in Sydney should fall to 154 cents per litre this week.

Average LPG prices in Sydney are falling with the current average at 76.3 cents per litre. Average prices should fall below 76 cents per litre over the next week.

How are fuel prices in your area?

Petrol Tax – we need a fairer deal


NRMA will fight for a better deal for road users and seek a guaranteed  share of tax revenue directed to infrastructure

NRMA will fight for a better deal for road users and seek a guaranteed share of tax revenue directed to infrastructure

Rest assured, NRMA will keep fighting for a fairer deal for motorists, after the Federal Budget revealed the Australian Government will only guarantee by law that less than 4 per cent of money raised by the petrol tax will be spent on roads over the next four years.

Despite motorists having to pay 39 cents per litre in Petrol Tax from 1 August 2014 (an increase from 38.1 cents), the Federal Government is only guaranteeing to spend about 1 cent of that on road infrastructure over the next year.

NRMA Motoring & Services President Wendy Machin said if the Government was going to tax Australians more at the bowser forever, they needed to guarantee more funding for roads forever.

“The NRMA is opposed to the reintroduction of the Petrol Tax indexation because we know our Members are already paying more than their fair share without getting enough back through road investment,” Ms Machin said.

“Petrol Tax indexation will mean motorists pay more petrol tax every year – forever. If we are going to pay more tax than ever we need an assurance from the Australian Government that we will see more returned to roads than ever as well.

“That is why the NRMA is tonight calling on the Australian Government to guarantee by legislation that at least half of all revenue raised directly from motorists through the Petrol Tax, including the additional revenue raised through indexation, is invested back into roads.

The Government will collect a total of $15.2 billion from motorists through the Petrol Tax this year alone and more than $60 billion over the next four years.

Dedicating half of the 39 cent per litre Petrol Tax raised from motorists back into roads would mean the Government’s contribution to building safer roads in Australia would increase by $2.7 billion on this year’s spending.

“Only then can we be sure the nation’s road network, which claims over 1,300 innocent lives each year, receives the type of continued and sustained funding it needs over the long term,” said Ms Machin.

Welcome road investment:
The Australian Government has today announced a $5.5 billion investment in the nation’s roads. This equates to almost 13 cents of the 39 cent per litre Petrol Tax being returned back to motorists through road spending. Road funding is expected to rise in 2015/16 to $8.5 billion and $9.6 billion in 2017/18.

Boost for road projects:
The NRMA has tonight welcomed the Australian Government’s investment in NSW roads, targeting crucial road projects such as:

  • $5.6 billion to finish the upgrade of the Pacific Highway by 2020
  • $2.9 billion investment in western Sydney roads, including the construction of a new motorway from the Northern Road to the M7
  • $1.5 billion for WestConnex and a $2 billion concessional loan to the NSW Government to fast-track construction of the first two stages of the project
  • Over $400 million for the NorthConnex project; and
  • $240 million over four years for the Bridges Renewal Program.

Blackspot funding & Pacific Highway updates:
The NRMA has also welcomed a commitment to increase $200 million in Blackspot funding over two years (beginning 2015/16) and an increase of $350 million in 2015/16 for the Roads to Recovery.

“Previous State and Federal Governments committed to upgrading the Pacific Highway by 2016 – it is a horrific failure of successive Governments that this target will not be met,” Ms Machin said.

“The NRMA welcomes the Australian Government’s $5.6 billion commitment to finish the upgrade by 2020, however the message to all sides of politics is that Australians will not tolerate another hollow promise and the NRMA will hold them to their word.

Sydney’s road network:
“We also welcome the Australian Government’s commitment to WestConnex and NorthConnex – two critical missing links in Sydney’s road network.

“The NRMA knows how important these projects are in tackling Sydney’s chronic congestion, which is why we have identified them among our top five infrastructure priorities.

“When WestConnex and NorthConnex are built they will change the way Sydney moves, ensure our Members get home to their families sooner and improve the delivery of goods and services right across the state.”

NRMA to fight any unfair petrol tax hike

Fuel price excise increase

BOWSER GOUGE: Our Members constantly tell us that the price of fuel is one of their biggest concerns when it comes to motoring and the NRMA will ensure that our Members’ interests are forcefully represented at a national level.

NRMA Motoring & Services has condemned any potential move by the Abbott Government to increase the fuel excise as part of this year’s Federal Budget as a cash grab.

NRMA President Wendy Machin has slammed any move to increase the nation-wide tax on fuels, saying it’s an unfair increase which will hit nearly every Australian’s hip pocket, regardless of their individual circumstances.

“The Federal Government already collects more than it spends on roads and transport infrastructure, so there is absolutely no basis for this unfair tax hike,” said Ms Machin.

“Last year’s budget estimated $15 billion would be collected from motorists from the fuel tax, however Federal Government expenditure on roads for the same period was estimated at $3.9 billion,” she said.

“In other words only 10 cents out of every 38.1 cents per litre collected as the fuel tax is actually spent on road infrastructure, that’s less than a third.

“Many people have no option other than to drive, it’s an essential cost of living whether it’s getting to work or delivering the goods and services our country needs every day.

“Whether you’re dropping the kids off to school or visiting a sick relative in hospital, any increase in fuel tax will mean you will pay more.

“Any attempt by the Australian Government to increase the fuel excise without prior consultation would be viewed by the NRMA as a cash grab which would only serve to place increased pressure on the cost of living for everyday Australians.

“Make no mistake, increasing the fuel excise will mean we’ll have to pay more for what should be a basic right to mobility.

“The NRMA has long campaigned for the need for the road network to receive a fairer share of funding from the taxes that are currently paid by motorists, including the fuel excise.

“Our Members constantly tell us that the price of fuel is one of their biggest concerns when it comes to motoring and the NRMA will ensure that our Members’ interests are forcefully represented at a national level.

“Should next week’s Federal Budget reveal any potential increase to the fuel excise, the NRMA which represents 2.5 million Members, along with the other motoring clubs nationally, will step up their fight against any unfair and unjustified tax hikes on motorists.”

How you would feel if the fuel excise was increased?

What are the greenest cars?

LEAF: The  Nissan Leaf charged from solar electricity is a clear winner

LEAF: The Nissan Leaf charged from solar electricity is a clear winner

What are the greenest cars if you take into account the environmental costs for building the vehicles and for distributing the fuel?

Lindsay Wilson on Renew Economy has analysed the top 8 technologies, using the Nissan Leaf as the EV for comparison.  As you might expect, the Leaf charged from solar electricity is a clear winner (and you could substitute wind, hydro or other low carbon source), at 79 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilometre (79 g CO2e/km). However the ranking from then on is not what you might expect.

The next best is an EV charged from gas fired electricity at 160 g/km but followed closely by a petrol vehicle achieving 4.7 L/100 km fuel consumption for overall emissions of 170 g/km. There are several small petrol or diesel cars available, and hybrids, that achieve this figure or better.

After that we find a petrol vehicle at 5.9 L/100 km and 203 g/km, then an EV charged by oil-fired electricity at 217 g/km, followed by petrol car achieving 7.8 L/100 km and 257 g/km, an EV charged from coal-fired electricity at 259 g/km and finally a petrol vehicle doing 11.8 L/100 km and 366 g/km.

So the “order of merit” is:

Vehicle/fuel Fuel consumption L/100 km Emissions grams CO2 equivalent
EV charged by renewable electricity N/A 79
EV charged by gas fired electricity N/A 160
Petrol car (eg Fiat Panda) 4.7 170
Petrol car (eg Peugeot 2008) 5.9 203
EV charged by oil fired electricity N/A 217
Petrol car (eg Honda Odyssey) 7.8 257
EV charged by coal fired electricity N/A 259
Petrol car (eg Jeep Wrangler) 11.8 366

What do you think? Do you think electric cars are going to be the low carbon vehicles of the future?  How about next-gen biofuels or hydrogen fuel cells?

Special report: we could run out of petrol, prescribed medication and refrigerated food in a week

A new report released by NRMA Motoring & Services has shown Australia’s reliance on imported transport fuel has increased from 60 per cent in 2000 to 91 per cent in 2013. This means that communities like Dubbo could run out of petrol, prescribed medication and refrigerated and frozen food in a week if tankers stopped entering Australian ports tomorrow. Scary, isn’t it.

This week NRMA released a new report that addresses an issue that could affect the entire nation: Australia’s fuel security. The report, which is the second in a series commissioned by NRMA Motoring & Services and authored by John Blackburn AO, highlights the need to reduce Australia’s reliance on imported transport fuel. The NRMA’s Western NSW director Graham Blight is calling on the Federal Government to move on reducing this reliance that has jumped from 60 per cent to 91 per cent between 2000 and 2013.

“We do not want to scare people with our report, but facts are facts,” Mr Blight said.


The new report warns that if supply of imported fuel was disrupted, Australian petrol stations would run dry after three days. After seven days pharmacies would cease dispensing drugs and supermarkets’ cold storage would be empty. The report also highlights that Australia is the only member of the International Energy Association that does not meet its 90-day fuel stock obligation.

Safeguarding Australia’s fuel security is an issue NRMA has been fighting to improve for many years and now is the time to act. The report highlights that Australia does not need to wait for the Government’s assessment to start taking action and outlines solutions to a potential crisis including, improving road safety, increasing freight to rail and producing alternate fuels.

“We have the capacity in this country to produce alternative fuels including biofuels and gas,” Mr Blight said.

“There are answers right in front of us to help secure our transport energy future that complement larger scale solutions, such as stopping the closure of refineries and increasing our stock of oil within our borders.

“Other countries have addressed their transport fuel security future – there’s no reason why we can’t address ours.”

The report highlights:

  • · the Australian Government should take control of the situation in 2014 by working with industry stakeholders to help secure Australia’s transport energy future via the Government’s National Energy Security Assessment;
  • · Australia is the only International Energy Association member that does not meet its 90 day fuel stock obligation (60 days in May 2013, down from 71 days in October 2012);
  • · by 2030, Australia’s remaining five refineries could be closed leaving the country almost 100 per cent reliant on imported oil and facing a potential liquid fuel security crisis; and
  • · if tankers stopped entering Australian ports tomorrow, the nation would lose its capacity to transport food and medicine supplies very quickly. Australia has just:
    - three days of petrol in our service stations;
    - seven days of pharmacy supplies in retail pharmacies; and
    - seven days of chilled and frozen goods in our supermarkets.

What do you think of Australia’s fuel security after reading this? Do you think the Government should act now? Comment below or on our Facebook/Twitter communities.

Read the series of reports below:

A Roadmap for Alternative Fuels in Australia The first, released in 2008, provided a roadmap to reduce Australia’s dependence on oil, highlighting the issues facing Australian motorists, the economy and our environment.Read A Roadmap for Alternative Fuels in Australia report – 2008 (PDF 1.8MB/64 pages)
Fuelling future passenger vehicle use in Australia' report - 2010 The second report, Fuelling future passenger vehicle use in Australia, was released in 2010 at the second NRMA Alternative Fuel and Technology Summit. The report gave further insight into how alternative transport fuels and technologies could drastically reduce our reliance on imported oil and fuels.Read Fuelling future passenger vehicle use in Australia report – 2010 (PDF 3MB/133 pages)
Australia's Liquid Fuel Security Part 1 report: 2013 In 2013, we released a report by Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn (Retired) on Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security. This report details the extent of Australia’s reliance on transport fuels and calls on the Australian Government to develop an effective fuel security plan to deal with extraordinary disruptions to supply outside normal daily supply and distribution – such as war, economic turmoil or natural disasters.Read Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security Part 1 report – 2013 (PDF 1MB/24 pages)
Australia's Liquid Fuel Security Part 2 In February 2014, we released the second Fuel Security Report by Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn. It digs deeper into this issue, exposes Australia’s deteriorating fuel security position, explores why we have a problem, how bad it really is and what we can do to fix it.Read Australia’s Liquid Fuel Serurity Part 2 report – 2014 (PDF 1.1MB/23 pages: