A new report released by NRMA Motoring & Services has shown Australia’s reliance on imported transport fuel has risen from 60 per cent in 2000 to 91 per cent in 2013, putting immense pressure on Australia’s liquid fuel security reserves.
The report notes that Australia is the only International Energy Association member that does not meet its 90-day fuel stock obligation and that by 2030, Australia’s remaining five refineries could be closed, leaving the country almost 100 per cent reliant on imported oil and facing a potential liquid fuel security crisis.
The report also notes that if tankers stopped entering Australian ports tomorrow, the nation would lose its capacity to transport food and medicine supplies very quickly. NRMA Director Graham Blight said the report also contained possible solutions to those problems.
‘The government’s National Energy Security Assessment will be reviewed again this year and it’s the ideal time for new policies to be implemented that would ensure Australia’s sustainability in the unlikely event of a disruption to our liquid fuel supply.
‘We do not want to scare people with our report, but facts are facts. Australia’s dependency on imported fuel and oil for transport has grown by more than 30 per cent from 60 per cent in 2000 to 91 per cent in 2013 and we are approaching 100 per cent dependency on imported transport fuels.’
Mr Blight said we could get thousands of trucks off the road and ease the wear and tear on our regional road network by getting more freight on rail, also improving road safety.
‘The technology being developed for electric vehicles has advanced considerably in the past five years with the emergence of longer battery life, more charging stations and fleet trials by businesses and governments.
‘There are answers right in front of us to help secure our transport energy future that complement larger scale solutions, such as stopping the closure of refineries and increasing our stock of oil within our borders.
‘Other countries have addressed their transport fuel security future – there’s no reason why we can’t address ours.’
The NRMA’s Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security: Part 2 report was prepared by Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn AO (Ret’d) and can be downloaded at: www.mynrma.com.au/about/reports-and-submissions.htm.