After months of lobbying for change, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed the Australian Government’s move to increase domestic fuel storage capacity.
In today’s announcement, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor, said the $211 million package had three key elements:
- $200 million for building new onshore diesel storage, with regional locations a priority area
- A minimum stockholding obligation on industry for key transport fuels, including increasing diesel stocks by 40 per cent
- A detailed design process with industry for a market-based mechanism for refinery support.
The package also includes modernising the online fuel reporting system to make it easier for industry to report stock levels to government and improve the timeliness of data.
“Fuel security is crucial to trucking, our economy, and keeping Australian communities supplied,” says ATA CEO Ben Maguire.
The ATA has been a longstanding advocate for the need to increase domestic fuel stocks, keeping reserves in Australia instead of on US soil.
“Today’s announcement will see action to increase our onshore stocks, in particular diesel due to its critical importance to the trucking industry,” adds Maguire.
“The trucking industry depends on fuel. Without it, our supermarkets would be empty, and deliveries would be brought to a standstill.
“The ATA’s network of member associations have played a large and important role in advocating for this great win for industry. They deserve enormous credit for their work on this issue over many years.
“We thank the Prime Minister, Minister Taylor and the Government for listening to our concerns and their willingness to collaborate with industry to ensure the best outcomes are achieved.
“Together with our members, we look forward to working with the Government on the design of the legislative package during the next six months.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s fuel security was essential for national security and that the country had been fortunate not to have experienced a significant fuel supply shock in more than 40 years.