Fuel boycott proposed

A group of Latrobe Valley motorists has called for a boycott of the region’s supermarket co-branded fuel outlets in protest of current pump prices.

Facebook group ‘Latrobe Valley Fuel Price Rip-Off’ posted to its page on Friday asking followers and community members to “join in boycotting the supermarket fuel outlets, namely Woolworths and Coles Express branded outlets”.

A group spokesperson said the news came after Thursday’s Express article, in which a Bairnsdale fuel wholesaler exposed pricing mark ups from Valley fuel outlets.

“It’s about time and it’s something we’ve thought about for a while,” the spokesperson said.

“The figures (featured in the article) got us into gear.”

The spokesperson said a few people had suggested boycotting the “big two”, Coles and Woolworths.

“Those two outlets don’t seem to do a lot in leading the way and I think that it’s a fantastic idea that won’t hit the small locally-owned operators,” the spokesperson said.

“Hopefully the boycott will impact them and make them drop their prices.”

Member for Morwell Russell Northe said he was pleased the community was rallying behind the region’s fuel prices.

“I think the community has a role to play. One way of doing that is making sure motorists recognise what outlets are providing cheaper fuel and support them,” Mr Northe said.

“I’m sure that if one retailer had a significantly cheaper price they would be well supported by Latrobe Valley motorists.”

A Woolworths’ spokesperson told The Express the company aimed to be competitive in a local fuel market.

“We act as a price follower, and move our prices up and down to ensure we remain competitive,” the Woolworths’ spokesperson said.

Coles did not respond to questions from The Express at the time of going to print.