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Fears that pre-paid fuel will drive some petrol stations out of business

There are fears that making drivers pre-pay for fuel will drive petrol stations out of business. 

Pre-payment for fuel is one of a number of recommendations put forward to combat a rise in petrol theft.

The inquiry, started in March, has also suggested having police take it more seriously, and putting incident report forms online.

But Geoff Gwilym from the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce said pre-payment would be a disaster for stations that rely on customers also buying items like bread and milk along with petrol.

Mr Gwilym told Neil Mitchell the Victorian government seems to think that petrol theft shouldn’t be treated as a crime.

‘If I steal a Mars bar, I’d be surrounded by police and handcuffed,’ he said.

‘But if somebody steals fuel, because it’s a civil matter, we’ve got to go through the court system just to get $70 off them.’

Mr Gwilym said some stations lose up to $60,000 per year to theft.

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