Australia “has a national security problem” when it comes to fuel supply with only 68 days in our fuel reserves, warns a new report.
The report by The Australia Institute states that while the official International Energy Agency (IEA) reserve count is 68 days, given the average daily consumption over the last year, current stocks are only expected to last 32 days.
The IEA guidelines require Australia to hold 90 net import days worth of fuel, a number Australia has not met since 2012.
The Australian Government has attempted to bolster the current number by including 21 days of fuel in transit to Australia or onboard ships docked in foreign ports, which The Australia Institute says that the majority of are foreign vessels and that there is no guarantee this fuel would reach Australia in the event of a crisis.
Richie Merzian, Climate and Energy Director at The Australia Institute, said Australia has a national security problem when it comes to transport fuels.
“It’s worrying that Australia is almost entirely reliant on foreign oil for fuel consumption leaving it ill-prepared to deal with international disruptions.
“The federal government failed to deliver its final Liquid Fuel Security Review in 2019 and since than Australia has become more, not less fuel insecure.”
Merzian said the only long-term solution is for Australians to get off oil, which involves increasing fuel efficiency and transitioning to electric vehicles.
The report points at the fact the Federal Government budgeted over $2 billion in support payments to Australia’s two remaining oil refineries while neglecting electric vehicles.
“Australia is an international laggard when it comes to fuel efficiency. Weak fuel standards and an absence of a national electric vehicle policy leave Australia among the least fuel-efficient fleets in the OECD, and far behind the rest of the world in electric vehicle uptake.”