Public consultation opens on fuel security

Media release

4 April 2019

The Morrison Government is seeking public comment on Australia's liquid fuel security.

This is the first in-depth look at Australia's liquid fuel sector since 2011 and it is important that industry and the community have an opportunity to contribute to the review.

The Interim Report on the Fuel Security Review, released today, shows that while Australia has not had a significant disruption to fuel supply in over 40 years, it is important to be proactive in ensuring our fuel supply is resilient, reliable and affordable.

This interim report forms a basis for engaging with industry, key stakeholders and the public on fuel security ahead of a final report and Government response. In the interim, the Government will commit to undertake four initiatives.

As a first step, the Government will work with key stakeholders to review the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984 to reduce the burdensome administrative requirements that could delay an effective government response to an emergency.

Secondly, the Government has initiated negotiations with the International Energy Agency (IEA) to modernise the IEA's outdated rules that disproportionately affect Australia due to its geographic remoteness. If these policy changes are accepted, our stock holding days will reach 85 days under the IEA process.

Thirdly, the Government will undertake a collaborative process with key stakeholders to improve transparency and oversight of the industry to better manage and respond to emerging supply issues and potentially increase competition.

Finally, the Government will enact these and future changes in a manner that does not impact the price of petrol at the pump and put more pressure on household budgets.

These steps will ensure that any future decision by government to invest in fuel stocks is based on ensuring reliability of supply at a competitive price for Australians. This measured approach stands in stark contrast to Labor's reckless policy which will cost Australians between $10 and $20 billion and will hit consumers at the bowser.

The Government is continuing to work with intelligence and national security agencies to understand the implications of potential international disruptions to fuel supply.

The report notes that some fuels such as diesel are more strategically important to our security than others.

The final Liquid Fuel Security Review will contribute to broader considerations of energy security in the National Energy Security Assessment, in the second half of 2019.

Public consultation on the Interim Report will be open until 3 May 2019. To make a submission, please visit energy.gov.au/government-priorities/energy-security/energy-security-assessments/liquid-fuel-security-review.

Minister for Energy