A safety audit on fuel tankers and trucks in the Cootes Transport fleet has seen many vehicles ordered off the road, causing fuel shortages at service stations in Australia’s eastern states.
Dozens of trucks in both Victoria and New South Wales were given defect notices for items such as oil leaks, brake problems and suspension issues and cannot be used to deliver fuel until the defects have been rectified.
The audit followed last week’s fatal collision and fire in Sydney involving a Cootes fuel tanker which killed two people.
While the trucks are off the road, Australia’s eastern states are beginning to experience shortages of certain fuel products at service stations, particularly unleaded petrol.
Queensland’s RACQ said that some service stations that still have adequate supplies have inflated prices by as much as 20 cents per litre in the last week.
“That’s very disappointing and we’re urging motorists to shun those service stations,” RACQ’s Paul Turner said, speaking with 7 News Brisbane.
The RACQ urged motorists not to “panic-buy” and to continue shopping around for the best price.
Some service stations in Sydney are starting to display blank price boards as they sell the last of their supplies while Victorian service stations are also feeling the pinch.
Victoria’s RACV urged motorists to use fuel conservatively, in an effort to ensure supplies last as long as possible.
"RACV does not believe there is any urgency in relation to fuel supplies in Victoria, however as a matter of caution we are advising motorists to plan ahead if embarking on a longer journey and consider filling up the car before leaving,” RACV’s Michael Case said.
While it is unclear exactly when fuel stocks will return to normal, it is understood that some trucks will be back on the road as soon as this weekend.