Where's the LPG?

LPG bowsers are disappearing from service stations across Queensland.

If you drive a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) powered car, it’s likely becoming harder to find a service station that stocks the fuel.

In the last five years there has been a substantial drop in the number of service stations in the Brisbane region offering LPG, with only 31% of stations supplying the fuel.

RACQ Principal Policy Advisor Ian Jeffreys said the reduced availability of LPG can be attributed to a lack of demand for the fuel. 

"Since July 2010 there has been a 70% drop in the volume of LPG sales,” Mr Jeffreys said.

“The number of LPG registered vehicles has also fallen in the last five years.”

RACQ Technical Advisor Bill Reeves said the availability of LPG is set to further decrease. 

“New fuel outlets simply aren’t putting in LPG bowsers and many existing stations are removing their LPG tanks when they are due to be recertified because the limited returns from the sale of LPG do not justify the expense,” Mr Reeves said.

Regional Queenslanders bear the brunt of the shortage with only one LPG bowser in 15 regional centres and no bowsers in Blackwater, Childers, Moranbah, Proserpine, Tully and Cunnamulla.

For residents of Moranbah this means a more than 270km round trip to the nearest LPG bowser at Puma Carmilla.

“Remote service stations may be less reliable because, if the LPG machinery breaks down, they have to wait a long time for parts and a technician to repair the equipment,” Mr Reeves said. 

“This can cause problems for regional Queenslanders when there’s only one LPG bowser in the area.”

In addition to the shortage, no new LPG passenger cars are being manufactured in Australia and the benefits of choosing LPG are diminishing.

“LPG tanks in your car are expensive and must be recertified every 10 years,” Mr Reeves said.

“The costs associated with maintaining your car’s fuel tank means LPG is no longer a cheap fuel source for Queenslanders.

LPG vehicle owners can use RACQ’s Fair Fuel Price app or the Autogas Near Me app to find LPG providers.