Southern Oil Refining's Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun in the Gladstone region.
Southern Oil Refining's Northern Oil Refinery at Yarwun in the Gladstone region.

$7.8m lifeline for CQ oil recycling facility saves 32 jobs

GLADSTONE company Southern Oil will receive a share in a $7.8 million lifeline for the oil recycling industry from the Federal Government, supporting businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd said it was a big win for the company and 32 of its staff.

Chief Operating Officer of Southern Oil, Australia's largest waste oil recycler with facilities at Gladstone and Wagga Wagga, Dan Czubala, thanked the government for its assistance.

"This is a measured, proportionate assistance package that will ensure waste oil can continue to be properly collected, stored and refined throughout all of Australia," he said.

"The Morrison-McCormack Government has thrown our industry a lifeline during an unprecedented period of turmoil and difficulty."

Mr O'Dowd said the wonderful news was a win for the environment and for the jobs this lifeline has thrown to the industry.

"Every single job that we support makes a huge difference in our local communities - now and as we navigate out of the pandemic," he said.

"This funding will be able to retain 32 permanent jobs at Northern Oil in Gladstone, which is the way forward to economic recovery from the pandemic."

Australia's oil recyclers collect and recycle used oil from more than 48,000 waste oil producers across the country, such as mechanics, car dealerships, factories, passenger transport, freight, service stations and heavy industry.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government paid a benefit to all oil recyclers to incentivise the collection and re-refinement of waste oil.

"This has been highly successful with approximately 300 million litres of waste oil being collected and reprocessed annually under strict licensing conditions and environmental approvals," he said.

"This money will support an industry severely affected by COVID-19, with 50 per cent of Australia's waste oil refineries having shutdown and industry estimates showing at least 25 per cent of waste oil is at risk of not being collected."

Environment Minister Sussan Ley said constraints on the industry's capacity to collect, process and store used oil could lead to waste oil being stockpiled or dumped.

"Unprocessed waste oil is hazardous to human health and the environment. This temporary support will ensure that oil recyclers can continue to responsibly and safely collect and reprocess waste oil to create a valuable recycled product," she said.

Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans said the additional funding to December 31, 2020 would protect jobs and the environment by allowing refineries to keep operating while COVID-19-related impacts stabilised.

"Our government's oil product stewardship scheme supports 11 oil recycling facilities around Australia which employ 600 Australians and thousands of contractors and we want them to keep doing this important work," he said.

"We will also bring forward a scheduled review of the scheme to ensure it remains viable and sustainable into the future, for the benefit of the industry and our environment."