A REVIEW into Australia’s fuel security has been announced by the Commonwealth government.
This follows widespread alarm Australia’s lack of refining capacity could render the nation vulnerable in the event of a national emergency.
Energy minister Josh Frydenberg said the government would assess Australia’s liquid fuel security to help deliver affordable and reliable energy.
“Liquid fuel, such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel, accounts for 37% of Australia’s energy use, including 98% of transport needs,” Minister Frydenberg said.
“Over the past two years, we have been focused on securing reliable and affordable electricity and gas. It is time now to consider Australia’s liquid fuel security.”
Mr Frydenberg said the assessment was “prudent and proper” to ensure Australia was not complacent.
“It should not be construed as Australia having a fuel security problem,” he said.
Mr Frydenberg said the comprehensive assessment would examine how fuel was supplied and used in Australia, including our resilience to withstand disruptions both overseas and in Australia.
“We have not experienced a significant disruption to fuels supplies since the OPEC oil crises in the 1970s, but there is no room to be complacent,” the minister said.
“Australia’s liquid fuel supply increasingly depends on overseas sources and relies on market forces to maintain reliability and affordability. The assessment will identify whether the Government should take further steps to ensure Australia’s domestic fuel supply is reliable.”
The assessment is to help inform Australia’s plan to return to compliance with the International Energy Agency’s emergency stockholding obligations by 2026.
The assessment of liquid fuels is to be completed by the end of 2018 as part of a broader consideration of energy security across liquid fuel, electricity and gas supplies in the National Energy Security Assessment by mid-2019.
The issue of fuel security has been raised extensively in federal circles by Senator Jim Molan and in the pages of Daily Cargo News particularly by columnist Captain Harry Mansson.