For some time, NatRoad has supported an examination of how fuel is supplied and used in Australia, including the country’s resilience to withstand disruptions from both overseas and in Australia. Fuel security is an important issue for the road transport industry.
The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Hon. Angus Taylor MP, has this week announced plans to launch a $200 million competitive grants program for diesel storage in the March 2021 quarter. The Government’s liquid fuel storage program aims to increase diesel stocks around the country by 40 per cent.
NatRoad commends the Government for taking this step to help secure Australia’s fuel security. Our concern has always been around the link between the timely supply of fuel and business survival, and this is a step in the right direction.
Road transport businesses need the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price. For example, if fuel was unavailable to a road transport business for 7 days or was rationed to less than 50% of requirement for two weeks, it is unlikely that business would survive given the low margins and high operating costs of most road transport businesses. Those that did weather this storm would be forced to sell assets, reduce employee numbers and refinance their business.
The outcome from today’s announcement will support Australia having an appropriate level of refining capacity for the support of local employment and “price suppression”, with the program helping refiners to reduce costs and to implement new commitments on fuel stockpiles.
If you need further assistance please reach out to the NatRoad Member Services Team on 1800 272 144 (8.30 am – 5.00 pm AEST, Mon-Fri) or email [email protected].