Peak professional body Engineers Australia has today come out in support of calls for a Parliamentary Inquiry into fuel security by DLP Senator for Victoria, John Madigan.
“Senator Madigan is correct to point out the vulnerability that exists in our domestic policy settings,” said Dr Brent Jackson, Executive General Manager of Public Affairs for Engineers Australia.
“As government reports and independent bodies like the NRMA have concluded, Australia is in breach of its 90-day liquid fuel stockholding obligations under International Energy Agency (IEA) agreements. Australia’s policy stance takes comfort in the notion that our IEA obligations would be met by simply recognising unrefined oil in tankers destined for Australia.
“This policy equivalent of ‘the cheque is in the mail’ is worrying. Liquid fuel in transit to Australia through some of the world’s geopolitical hotspots isn’t fuel security, it’s wishful thinking.
“The myth of an Australian strategic fuel reserve needs to be busted. With indicators pointing to an ever reducing domestic refining capacity we need to shift our thinking to recognise that energy security doesn’t come from energy storage, but instead from energy flow.
“The uncertainty around our domestic fuel supply is one of the many reasons why Australia needs to ensure that resilience and security are core components of our national infrastructure strategy. This is a policy consideration that must involve coordination across sector, portfolio and jurisdictional lines.
“The engineering profession has a key role in the planning and delivery of Australia’s energy infrastructure, and we’re pleased to see that this issue is being recognised by Senator Madigan.
“Engineers Australia commends Senator Madigan’s call for an inquiry into fuel security, and we welcome the opportunity for debate on this critical issue,” said Dr Jackson.