There has been no let-up in fuel prices on the South Coast, with motorists’ wallets still hit hard evvery time they fill up.A lack of strong independent price-competitive operators is to blame, according to NSW University’s Frank Zumbo, an associate professor with the School of Business Law and Taxation.He said the problem was the same in Canberra, where prices are up to 10 cents higher than Sydney and other regional centres because of the lack of price-competitive operators.Despite the falls in wholesale prices for many weeks, the two major fuel providers in Bateman Bay – Coles/Shell and Woolworths/Caltex – have continued to sell unleaded (ethanol mix E10) at 153.9 cents per litre, despite price drops in Sydney and other regional NSW centres.The Australian Institute of Petroleum found that the average unleaded fuel price fell to 143.6 cents a litre in the week ending last Sunday. The NRMA fuel watch site recorded Sydney’s average price last week for unleaded fell from 149.5 cents per litre to 141.5 cents per litre by Wednesday afternoon.There was no corresponding drop here.In the Bay the price has remained steadfast for well over a month and does not drop during the weekly price cycles that motorists elsewhere eagerly take advantage of.Professor Zumbo claims “games” are being played with petrol prices across regional NSW because there was “no economic reason” for prices to vary so much.He said yesterday that in the past month the wholesale price for petrol had fallen by 12.5 cents a litre as a result of the world’s shaky economies causing a collapse in oil prices.“The problem lately is that, while retail prices continue to vary between regional centres, they have recently remained higher for longer periods,” he noted.“Which means motorists are not getting the lower prices they did in the past. Dangerously for motorists, those games tend to result in a bigger rip-off.”While the Petroleum Institute said city motorists could expect further savings in the next fortnight as a result of the falls in wholesale prices, South Coast motorists including those in Moruya (where it’s often higher) are not likely to benefit.Liberty service station North Batemans Bay operator Michael Keys claimed the number of service stations in the Bay had also dropped, reducing competition, with the two major operators now able to charge what they want.With his unleaded price usually lower, Mr Keys said he found their higher prices “amusing” because they sold an ethanol blend whereas his cheaper price was for pure unleaded.“It is a good thing there are still some independents here,” he noted wryly.However, Mr Keys said it was very doubtful whether the lower city prices were proving profitable for their operators.“They are not making money. They are fighting for the dollar,” he said.Long Beach customer Bruce Prior said he always went to independent operators first.“Once the big boys get control, that’s the end of it. They will charge what they want,” Mr Prior said.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲培训学校.