Melbourne worker's $500,000 mistake at Coles Express service station

A Coles Express fuel delivery worker has reportedly lost nearly half a million dollars after pouring unleaded fuel into the wrong tank.

The Maroondah Leader reports the worker tipped up to 40,000 litres of unleaded fuel into the diesel tank at the service station at Ringwood East, 25km east of Melbourne's CBD, on Thursday night.

The worker reportedly realised their costly mistake and shut the pumps down immediately to ensure no customer would be affected.

The blunder was not rectified until Saturday morning when workers came to the service station to spend hours cleaning out the wrong fuel from the diesel tank.

A street view of Coles Express in Ringwood East.
The mistake was reportedly made at Coles Express in Ringwood East. Source: Google Maps

The Maroondah Leader reports fuel delivery workers top up the tanks when they get down to 10,000 litres.

A Viva Energy spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia a worker accidentally pumped unleaded fuel into a large diesel tank.

"The fuel truck driver quickly recognised the problem and followed standard operating procedure, which involved locking out the pumps. No contaminated product was sold to customers," the spokesperson said.

"The entire quantity of the tank was pumped out and returned to Viva Energy’s refinery in Geelong where it will be refined again and 100 per cent utilised.

"The diesel tank was cleaned out, tested and refilled, returning to service within 48 hours."

Pricey blunder as weekly fuel costs reach 7 year high

The blunder was made amid expensive fuel prices across the country.

It was reported earlier this month that cash-strapped Aussies filling up at the fuel pump paid an extra $5 a week over the course of the past three months, according to new data.

The Australian Automobile Association's latest Transport Affordability Index found average weekly fuel costs across the nation rose to $100.39 in the June quarter.

The fuel costs factor in the temporary halving of the fuel excise rate, inflation running at 6.1 per cent annually and global price shocks stemming from the war in Ukraine.

Michael Bradley, managing director of the peak motoring body, said it was the first time the national weekly fuel cost average had passed $100 since the index's inception in 2016.

"Despite the temporary excise cut, fuel prices are rising and continue to be a significant contributor to cost of living pressures across both regional and metropolitan Australia," he said.

A man pumps petrol at a service station in Melbourne.
The mistake came amid rising costs of fuel across the country. Source: AAP

Average fuel costs were $98.37 per week across the nation's capital cities and $102.71 per week regionally, with motorists in Bunbury ($122.70), Geelong ($118.31) and Launceston ($114.67) the hardest hit, according to the index.

The 22-cent cut to the fuel excise is due to end next month, with the Albanese government strongly indicating it won't be extended.

With AAP

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