17 May 2021
The Australian Government’s fuel security announcement today is a win for the trucking industry, CEO of the ATA, Andrew McKellar said.
Welcoming today’s announcement, Mr McKellar said the package was the result of a long term, strategic advocacy campaign by the ATA on behalf of its members.
“Diesel and liquid fuel security are critical to Australia’s economy – 98 per cent of the energy for the transport sector is sourced from liquid fuel,” Mr McKellar said.
“But Australia has dangerously low fuel stocks. In March 2021, Australia only had 21 days of diesel in the entire country,” he said.
The Government’s overall fuel security package includes support for domestic refineries (with the details announced today), onshore fuel storage and modernising the liquid fuel emergency legislation.
“The ATA and its members have been campaigning on fuel security since 2014. We ran a fuel security exercise in 2015 and have engaged extensively with government since then,” Mr McKellar said.
Mr McKellar said the package would be funded by the Government, not by a fuel security levy on road users.
“This is a big win for every road user. With the strong support of our members, we argued that there shouldn’t be a fuel levy to fund the package, because we all depend on the secure availability of fuel,” he said.
Mr McKellar said in the long term, Australia’s fuel security would be secured by the introduction of electric and hydrogen vehicles.
“This will be a long process, so the Government should take stronger action now to encourage the introduction of zero and low emission vehicles into the fleet,” he said.
“This should include a temporary purchase incentive, support for recharging and refuelling infrastructure and amending the vehicle design rules.”