Residents of Sydney’s outskirts are hardest hit by rising petrol prices

Petrol prices are so high in Sydney that Rebecca Matanale says she may have to leave her car in the parking lot as it’s “too expensive to take anywhere”.

Residents of Sydney’s outskirts are the hardest hit by rising petrol prices, making them think twice about how they travel – or whether a trip is really worth it.

The price of petrol in NSW has risen by 52% over the past 12 months, according to Fuel Watch NSW.

Fuel prices rose last year more than any year since 1990, according to the ABS.

Since then, the cost of gasoline has continued to rise, driven by rising global fuel prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The average price of unleaded has been above $2 a liter since March 11, according to the NSW government’s Fuel Check portal.

Some gas stations sell unleaded for $2.30 per litre.

Rebecca Matanale says she fills up in $25 increments.(Provided: Rebecca Matanale)

Ms Matanale, a 42-year-old woman from Wahroonga on the high north coast, must be seriously considering whether trips in her economy Mazda 2 are worth the cost of fuel.

Paying a mortgage on her own and other bills strain her finances.

She said about 90% of her salary was spent on bills.

She fills up with gas in $25 increments, she says, to make sure she will have money at the end of the month.

“This is just the latest shock to the bill,” Ms Matanale said.

“It’s really a ‘let’s rethink what we’re going to do’ because no one wants to fill up on gas to go somewhere and fill it up when they get back.

“I’m just going to leave the car in the parking lot because it’s too expensive to take it anywhere.”

The NRMA sums up the price hike to two reasons: an increase in demand that is not met by supply in the wake of the pandemic, and sanctions imposed on Russia – the world’s second largest oil exporter – in response. to his invasion of Ukraine.

“We have not seen [petrol prices] like this in modern history,” said NRMA media officer Peter Khoury.

“We didn’t just break records, we absolutely broke them.”

Tanker price hikes impact all drivers, but do not affect them equally, Khoury said.

The most affected are farmers, residents of outlying suburbs, where shortcomings in public transport infrastructure force them to drive to work; and people from lower socio-economic areas who cannot afford newer, more economical cars.

“What we do know is this: whenever prices go up, the people who can least afford it are often the most exposed, he said.

“About 16% – about a fifth – of the family budget is spent on transport costs.

“And every time gasoline prices go up…more of it gets consumed.”

Amandeep Dhaliwal’s weekly diesel bill was around $105 this time last year, but he is now paying $161 at the tank.

“I can’t go on like this if fuel prices stay the same,” he said.

“I have to do something.”

Like many people living in Sydney’s outer suburbs, her commute to work is a long one – an 85 kilometer round trip between the north-eastern suburb of Glenwood and Alexandria in the mid-west.

Instead, he thinks of taking his weekend motorbike to save money, even if it’s a riskier means of transport.

“I use the motorbike almost every month, but now I have to seriously consider it my mode of transportation if fuel prices stay the same,” he said.