FUEL PLAN: Will Gladstone benefit from $211m investment?
GLADSTONE could be set to capitalise on the Federal Government’s announcement of a $211 million investment in ensuring the nation’s fuel storage capacity future.
The news comes on the back of the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday about securing Australia’s long-term fuel supply and creating more than 1000 jobs by building storage facilities and refineries.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said he supported the building of new storage facilities or a new refinery in Gladstone to ensure the nation’s economy kept growing.
“‘Here in Gladstone we currently have bulk fuel storage facilities and are well placed to produce and increase our fuel storage along with a port capable of shipping and receiving fuel all around the world,” he said.
“As the current refineries are ageing and becoming antiquated I would support and advocate for the building of a new refinery in Gladstone.
“We are currently sitting at around 80 days of fuel storage and would like that to increase to 90 days.
“As part of our 2020-21 budget, the Government will enhance Australia’s fuel security and bolster local industry through a $211 million investment in new domestic diesel storage facilities, reforms to create a minimum onshore stockholding and measures to support local refineries.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s fuel security was essential for our national security and that we had been fortunate to not have experienced a significant fuel supply shock in over 40 years.
“Our positive changes to the fuel market will ensure Australian families and businesses can access the fuel they need, when they need it, for the lowest possible price,” Mr Morrison said.
“Fuel security underpins our entire economy.
“Not only does it keep Australia moving, the industry supports thousands of people across the country and this plan is also about helping keep them in work.
“Like all sectors of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on Australia’s fuel industry.
“The events of 2020 have reminded us that we cannot be complacent. We need a sovereign fuel supply to shield us from potential shocks in the future.”
To achieve the goal of securing Australia’s long-term fuel supply, the construction of new storage facilities would support up to 950 jobs and 75 ongoing jobs, many in regional areas, Mr Morrison said.
The government plan has three key elements:
1. $200 million towards a competitive grants program to build an additional 780 million litres of onshore diesel storage.
2. Creating a minimum stockholding obligation for key transport fuels
3. Backing the refining sector by entering into a detailed market design process for a refinery production payment.