Chaos has broken out at petrol stations around the country as desperate motorists fight to beat the fuel hike at the bowser.
Come midnight, the federal government’s temporary petrol price cut, which was introduced in March to help Aussies cope with the soaring cost of living, will officially end.
Without the fuel excise reduction, the competition watchdog, the ACCC, warns costs will jump by 25.3 cents per litre over the coming weeks.
Motorists line up in Sydney
On Wednesday evening, queues could be seen forming at service stations, fuelling uncertainty about what Thursday will bring.
At one of Sydney’s cheapest petrol stations, where E10 unleaded was going for 154.9 cents, drivers lined up for 400 metres, according to Seven News.
It reported that the Blaxcell Street station in Granville was selling unleaded 91 petrol for 156.9 cents, premium 95 for 170.9 and diesel for 195.9.
But the majority of Facebook users who responded to photos of the lengthy lines couldn’t see why motorists were bothering.
“They will waste $20 of petrol waiting in line to save $15,” one person wrote.
“Fill up somewhere else for an extra three bucks and not spend half your day waiting,” said another.
“Just like the toilet paper sage,” someone joked.
“Sheep will always do what they are told, poor buggers,” added another.
However, others said many petrol stations were “late to the party.”
“Fuel went up 50 cents last week just in time for school/public holidays,” one person wrote. “As usual, the government/watchdog is asleep at the wheel.”
“Brisbane has been back up to $1.90 for a week already,” another claimed.
“In Newcastle it was $1.95 for 91 at 6am this morning,” someone else said.
Queues in Melbourne cop flack
Similar queues were spotted at a local Costco petrol station in Melbourne in a post on Reddit.
But in Victoria, some drivers were a bit more sympathetic.
“I saved $20 filling up at Costco, thrown in a hotdog and a drink for $2 and it’s definitely worth it,” one person wrote.
While others couldn’t understand the wait.
“Seriously, it just makes no sense to me,” another user said. “Go through all that to save what, $10? Half of that is gone in petrol costs to get there if it’s out of the way. It’s just craziness.”
“Morons,” another simply said.
Petrol stations put on notice
But the watchdog warns it has got its eyes on retailers as the tax break ends for drivers.
With petrol stations purchasing about 700 million litres of fuel before the midnight curfew, the price hike shouldn’t be felt for a few days.
“We would look very firmly down on any petrol station that has supplies purchased under the previous arrangement that sees the need overnight to jack the price up 23 cents a litre,” Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.