Australia passes measures to ensure fuel security, protect jobs

The Australia parliament has passed new measures to lock in the future of the refining sector, keep petrol prices low and protect jobs, a government statement said.

It said the Fuel Security Bill 2021 gives effect to key measures in the government’s comprehensive fuel security package included in the 2021-22 Budget.

The reforms will: 

  • establish a minimum stockholding obligation (MSO) requiring fuel importers and refiners to maintain a level of petrol, diesel and jet fuel; and 
  • create a fuel security services payment (FSSP) to support refiners during loss-making periods and enable them to continue refining until 30 June 2027.

These reforms deliver on the Government’s commitment to maintain a sovereign refining capability in Australia, the statement from Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said on Wednesday.

Payments to refineries will begin for production of key transport fuels from 1 July 2021, the statement said, adding that the MSO will commence in July 2022 to safeguard key transport fuel stocks at a baseline level, with a 40 per cent increase in diesel stockholdings from mid-2024.

“Supporting our local refineries will protect the jobs of 1,250 workers across the Ampol refinery in Lytton (Queensland) and the Viva Energy refinery in Geelong (Victoria) and create another 1,750 construction jobs,” the minister said.

It will also ensure that Australia has the sovereign capability to respond to a major fuel disruption, protect its fuel dependent industries, families and businesses from higher pump prices.

The government is also providing support for major refinery infrastructure upgrades to help refiners bring forward the production of better-quality fuels from 2027 to 2024, the statement said.

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