Australia’s fuel reserves dwindle to historic lows under LNP: KAP

Mar 7, 2022

Australia’s fuel reserves dwindle to historic lows under LNP: KAP

Mar 7, 2022

Australia’s emergency fuel reserves are at an all-time low compared to other countries, leaving the nation’s transport and logistics network vulnerable to grinding to a halt, says Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) candidate for Herbert, Clynton Hawks. 

As of November 2021, Australia’s emergency fuel reserves were the lowest in the developed world, at just 68 days, with the three days-worth of reserves owned by the federal government located off-shore.[1]  

Australia is the only signatory to the International Energy Agency’s program which doesn’t hold the mandated 90 days of emergency fuel supplies. 

Hawks, a transport operator, said Australia’s vulnerability to a liquid fuel supply shock could not come at a worse time, with war raging in Europe and China widely thought to be eyeing a chance to move into Taiwan. 

“Australia imports 90% of our crude oil, on 100% owned foreign vessels. 

“If our supply chains were cut by an embargo on oil exports out of Asia, we’d have enough oil to meet two months’ demand. 

“All China would have to do is place a sub between us and our ‘well-planned’ fuel reserves in the US and Australia will turn into Mad Max. 

“This is a contrast to New Zealand, which could meet 108 days demand.   

“At the other end of the spectrum, United Kingdom has enough reserves to last almost three years. 

“Unlike virtually every signatory to the International Energy Programme, Australia puts 99% of its fuel reserves in the hands of a couple of multi-national oil companies. 

“Meanwhile, the Australian-owned fuel reserves are in tanks off-shore.” 

Australia needs a significantly higher level of fuel reserves due to being a net importer of oil.  Australia mainly produces light sweet crude, which needs to be mixed with overseas-sourced heavy oil before refining.   

“Instead of having bucket loads of fuel in reserve to keep our trucks, tractors and cars moving, we actually have a third less than the minimum recommended by the IEA.” 

Mr Hawks notes the decline in Australia’s emergency reserves began in 2011 under the Labor Government, but had accelerated under the LNP Coalition government. 

Mr Hawks said the supply disruptions to the diesel additive Adblue because of China’s export ban on a key component of Adblue, urea, was a “canary in the coal mine” moment which Australia as a nation ignores at its peril. 

“The Adblue crisis was a wake-up call for a federal government asleep at the wheel, but how many more times do we need to elbow them in the ribs before they act on Australia’s fuel in-security.” 

“The federal government’s solution to the Adblue crisis has bought time, but was ultimately not a  long-term solution.” 

With prices reaching $2 a litre in some parts of the State, and record prices in Townsville in recent weeks, Mr Hawks said this coming federal election will be won and lost at the bowser.  

“Townsville residents can not only expect to see record prices at the bowser, but queues for petrol stretching down Ross River Road, if we don’t work quickly to address Australia’s dependence on overseas imports for liquid fuel. 

“Countries around the world are now releasing part of their fuel reserves to try to ease the pain at the pump. 

“In Australia, all we have is dust. 

“Australia’s catastrophically pitiful emergency fuel stockpile is what happens when you let economists dictate national security.”