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Don’t go mad

Friday, 11th October, 2013

Andrew Sumsion fills a 44-gallon drum at the BP in Bonanza Street yesterday. He wasn’t panicking - he just wanted the fuel for his motorbike riding. Andrew Sumsion fills a 44-gallon drum at the BP in Bonanza Street yesterday. He wasn’t panicking - he just wanted the fuel for his motorbike riding.

By By Craig Brealey

Service stations hit with fuel panic

Mad Max had to fight for his fuel - but you don’t.

That’s the message from Broken Hill service station owners who say there is plenty of petrol and diesel in town.

They have all been flat out over the last couple of days trying to keep up with panic buying.

Some motorists have even been turning up with jerry cans and drums, they say.

The mad rush was sparked by news reports of an impending fuel shortage in the big cities on the east coast and fuelled by false claims being made on Facebook that Broken Hill was running dry.

The fact that the Shell petrol station in Williams Street ran out of fuel and another temporarily closed this week for refurbishment (see story page 3) contributed to the fear.

The Shell is likely to have more supplies in today.

It has its fuel brought up by Cootes Transport tankers. Cootes, which also services Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, has had 100 of its tankers put off the roads for safety inspections and repairs following a fatal crash in Sydney last week.

But Cootes does not supply Broken Hill’s other servos. The Caltex ones get their fuel from Scotts Transport which deliver it to the depot on Kanandah Road. The BP is supplied directly by BP in Melbourne via Mildura.

Errol Hussein, the manager of the Streamline South Caltex servo in Bonanza Street, said yesterday that he and his staff had been flat strap.

“We probably had our biggest day ever (Wednesday),” said Mr Hussein.

“Lots of people were turning up with jerry cans.

“Our fuel supplies were getting low because of the panic but we got another load in today.”

Still, it was good for business, Mr Hussein said.

“I don’t mind it,” he said. “It makes the day go quicker.”     

Across the road at the BP South, owner Peter Ruhs said motorists were “queuing up and getting stressed”.

“I have no idea why,” said Mr Ruhs.

“We have no supply issue at the moment. We got a delivery in last night.”

There were also big queues at Lindsay’s Caltex in Blende Street yesterday morning but owner Reg Astill said the same thing had happened not long ago when the servo at Woolworths was closed to have new pumps put in.

“There is no need to panic,” said Mr Astill. “There is no shortage of petrol.”

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