Labor’s commitment to boost Australia’s fuel security would help protect the economy from international risks and uncertainty, the Chair of the Australian Trucking Association, Geoff Crouch, said today.
The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry.
“Fuel security is critical to trucking and keeping the Australian economy moving,” Mr Crouch said.
“Over 75 per cent of non-bulk domestic freight is carried by road, making fuel security vital to local supply chains and the ability of businesses and consumers to buy and sell goods.
“Last year, the International Energy Agency reported that Australia is vulnerable to unexpected changes in regional demand and disruptions in supply.
“The IEA reported that our stocks are at an all-time low, do not meet our international obligations and limit Australia’s options for addressing a disruption in supply.”
Mr Crouch welcomed Labor’s commitment that it would, if elected, commence detailed consultation around the design of a government-owned National Fuel Reserve to boost Australia’s fuel stocks of emergency reserves.
“The ATA has been an advocate for returning Australia’s stock levels to international compliance, and we welcome Labor’s commitment,” Mr Crouch said.
“In the United States, Japan and Germany the government holds enough stock to meet their international stockholding obligation, and government action would be a big boost to securing Australia’s fuel security.”
Mr Crouch said the fuel emergency legislation also needed to be reviewed.
“The ATA has long argued that the fuel emergency legislation and guidelines should be reviewed to ensure that trucking businesses cannot be sued for prioritising customers in line with government policy during a fuel security emergency,” he said.