FESTIVE FOLLY: There has been increased demand on welfare agencies and a spike in petrol drive-offs in the Lockyer Valley.
FESTIVE FOLLY: There has been increased demand on welfare agencies and a spike in petrol drive-offs in the Lockyer Valley. Kerry Oneill

The budget blues

WITH budgets already stretched to the limit, there has been an increase in the number of drive-offs from service stations and greater demand on welfare agencies.

Operators of major service stations in the region said they had experienced a slight increase in the number of drive-offs from their businesses.

Caltex Plainland manager Mark Madden said his business was averaging six drive-offs per week at an average cost of $80 to $100 on each occasion.

Rusty's Oz Fuel owner/ operator Shay Elman said his business averaged only a few drive-offs per month and attributed the low number to his "wall of shame" where photographs of drivers are posted on the window of the service station.

A spokesman for the Salvation Army in Gatton said demands on the welfare agency had been greater this year.

"The cost of living has increased with the cost of power going up, but wages have not increased, putting pressure on families and individuals," the spokesman said.


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