Deputy Speaker I rise today to speak on the Fuel Security Bill 2021.
This incredible commitment by the Morrison Government not only locks in Australia’s sovereign refining capability and our long-term fuel security, it backs local jobs for local families in my electorate of Bonner.
Deputy Speaker, the Morrison Government is taking strong action to support the Australian economy and ensuring our critical services can keep running.
The Bill includes two key measures of the Morrison Government’s fuel security package: the Fuel Security Services Payment and the Minimum Stockholding Obligation.
Fuel is crucial across the economy and through these two key measures this Bill will champion our fuel dependent industries.
Our truckies, our tradies, our farmers, our commuters, our miners—and of course, everyone who travels in Australia.
This Bill will help secure our sovereign fuel stocks and back local jobs.
And this Bill will protect families and businesses from higher fuel prices ensuring that Aussie families can keep more of what they earn!
Deputy Speaker, Australia continues to lead the world in our comeback from the Covid-19 pandemic.
And we aren’t slowing down.
Our Prime Minister has made a commitment.
A commitment to maintaining a self-sufficient refining capability in Australia.
A commitment that has been applauded by the fuel industry and by peak industry bodies.
Deputy Speaker, locking in Australia’s fuel security will deliver benefits for all Australian’s.
Deputy Speaker, traditional fuels will continue to be the dominant fuel source for transport beyond 2030 – we cannot be complacent about fuel security because of this.
The Fuel Security Bill supports the Ampol refinery in Lytton, in my electorate of Bonner, and Victoria’s Viva Energy refinery in Geelong.
This bill will lock in these refineries until 2027 and safeguard levels of key transport fuels through the Minimum Stockholding Obligation measure.
This is critical for our farmers, our emergency services, our truckies and our industries who all rely on diesel to keep Australia moving.
Deputy Speaker, without the passage of this Bill, it is likely Australia’s remaining refineries will close within the next five years.
Between these two refineries, this would mean losing 1,250 direct jobs. That’s 1250 families.
It would mean forfeiting 1,750 new construction jobs.
The fallout would then have a devastating impact on jobs in all fuel dependent industries.
The ramifications would be catastrophic for our local economy.
That’s why I was extremely pleased to welcome the Prime Minister and Minister for Energy and Emission Reduction Angus Taylor to Bonner for the announcement of this Bill recently.
Deputy Speaker, as part of the Fuel Security Services Payment measure, the refineries will be paid a variable production payment.
What this means is if there was a time either of these refineries were not making profits, they would be supported.
It means our taxpayers are only supporting the sector when it is needed.
On a local level this support equates to 550 direct jobs in Bonner.
550 highly skilled workers who can keep their jobs.
The flow on effect of this certainty in the local community can not be underestimated!
This is a Government that is backing jobs.
Deputy Speaker, when I joined the Prime Minister and Minister Taylor on a tour of the refinery, we walked past a worker holding up a hand-written sign which read: Thank you for supporting the refinery.
I was beyond humbled to read this because this is exactly why we do what we do.
These are real people; people with families, loved ones and passions for their work.
These are people with incredible skills that we absolutely must harness to ensure our sovereign capability.
Deputy Speaker, ensuring our sovereign capability is essential.
It means we can prepare for any crisis and protect our families and businesses from higher prices at the bowser.
This is where the Minimum Stockholding Obligation measure of the Bill comes in to play.
The Australian fuel market operates on a near just in time basis and is heavily reliant on global supply chains operating under normal conditions.
Yes, this helps to keep operational costs low.
But Deputy Speaker it means the market is less prepared for disruptions.
Implementation of the Minimum Stockholding Obligation will provide certainty to fuel consumers that there is a baseline level of liquid fuel available in Australia at any point in time.
Deputy Speaker, I say again-locking in Australia’s fuel security will deliver benefits for all Australian’s.
Fuel is what keeps us and the economy going.
That is why the Morrison Government is backing our refineries.
And that is why the passage of this Bill is essential.