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Trucking industry welcomes domestic fuel security move

15 June 2020

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed the Australian Government’s action to consult with industry on improving Australia’s domestic fuel security.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor today announced that the Government has opened a Request for Information (RFI) process to identify opportunities to increase Australia’s domestic fuel storage capacity.

ATA Chair David Smith said the ATA and its members were long-standing advocates of the need to strengthen Australia’s domestic fuel security.

“Fuel security is a national issue. In recent months we have seen the vital importance of trucking to support our economy and keep communities supplied,” Mr Smith said.

“We have called for the development and implementation of a staged plan to increase Australia’s domestically held fuel stocks.

“The RFI process is an important step towards this aim. We congratulate the Government on turning its focus to measures that will store fuel in Australia where we can get to it in an emergency, unlike its unwise decision to spend $94 million on storing fuel in the United States.”

The RFI process will allow the government to examine different volume, location, and fuel storage specifications, seeking input from industry on potential storage projects.

The ATA is very pleased that the request for information is broad enough to allow the Government to consider innovative proposals such as the plan advanced by ATA member Western Roads Federation to provide tax concessions to businesses that invest in fuel storage,” Mr Smith said.

“This proposal would have advantages in dealing with regional fuel supply disruptions – such as the Victorian diesel supply disruption in 2012 – as well as national emergencies.”

Mr Smith said that Australia did not have enough petrol and diesel in stock.

“The latest petroleum statistics released by the Government show that Australia’s diesel stocks fell from 23 consumption days in January to 18 days in March,” he said.

The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.