Fuel security at risk: ATA


Australia should urgently review its fuel stockpiling procedures, St Clair says

Fuel security at risk: ATA
Stuart St Clair wants a close look at fuel security.

 

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) joined warnings that Australia may have insufficient oil on standby in case of an emergency.

It says Australia’s 52 days’ worth of fuel stocks represents the lowest among member countries of the International Energy Agency. That body calls for members to hold 90 days’ of emergency oil stocks for use in case of a significant disruption to the world oil supply.

"Liquid fuel is an essential part of day-to-day life in Australia," says ATA CEO Stuart St Clair. "In the event of a disruption to oil supply, the emergency stockpile rules enable governments to keep supply chains running or assist other countries experiencing supply issues."

As part of the ATA’s submission to the Federal Government’s Energy Green Paper, it urged a review of IEA’s arrangements and recommendations. The 90-days’ supply rule was set in 1974, and does not account for developments in the petroleum market since then – including the storage and holding of petroleum stocks at sea.

"These stocks account for more than a quarter of total oil stockholding directly owned and controlled by Australian companies," St Clair says.

The ATA also urges the Australian Government to take a more proactive role in emergency supply arrangements, rather than leaving stockpiles in the hands of commercial entities only.

"[These companies] can’t be expected to have complete responsibility for maintaining critical fuel supplies in the event of a crisis, such as a major natural disaster," St Clair says.

"The Government needs to take on this role and pay for the cost of meeting the stockholding requirements.

"The Government can also improve fuel security by encouraging alternative fuel infrastructure, supporting the research and commercialisation of renewable fuels, and removing obstacles to the use of more fuel efficient high productivity vehicles."

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