Australia Institute issues urgent fuel safety warning
Australian motorists already struggling with high petrol prices have received a grim warning about the country’s fuel supply.
Australian motorists are warned of an urgent problem as war in Ukraine rages on.
The country’s dependence on foreign fuel continues to grow despite international security concerns.
Australia’s fuel supplies could run out in as little as a month if another major crisis hits.
The Australia Institute fears that the country is too dependent on foreign oil.
“It should be of concern to all Australians that 91% of Australian fuel – such as petrol and diesel – is import-related,” said the institute’s Richie Merzian.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine highlighted the links between international security and fuel addiction.
Mr Merzian called the situation a “national security issue”.
Although nearly three-quarters of Australia’s liquid fuel is used for transport, the Australia Institute found solutions such as vehicle electrification that continued to be ignored.
Over $2 billion has been budgeted to support Australia’s two remaining oil refineries.
But nothing was committed in the last federal budget for electric vehicles.
In a new report, the Australia Institute has found that if all passenger vehicles were switched to electric technology, 33% of imported oil could be replaced by household electricity.
Also, in the event of a disruption, most vehicles would continue to drive.
In January this year, Australia officially had only 68 days of liquid fuel available, which is less than the International Energy Agency’s 90-day requirement.
In reality, the country’s supplies are expected to last only 32 days based on the average daily consumption of the past year.
“The Australian Government is trying to reinforce this by including some 21 days of fuel in transit to Australia or on board vessels moored in overseas ports – the majority of which are overseas vessels,” Mr Merzian said.
“There is no guarantee that this fuel would reach Australia in a crisis.”
The federal government has yet to release the findings of a 2019 fuel safety report, raising fears the review could be buried if the coalition loses the next election.
“High petrol prices are already hurting Australians. The only long-term solution is to get out of oil. That means increasing fuel efficiency and switching to electric vehicles,” Mr Merizan said.
“Australia is an international laggard when it comes to energy efficiency.
“Low fuel standards and the lack of a national electric vehicle policy put Australia among the least fuel efficient fleets in the OECD, and far behind the rest of the world in electric vehicle adoption. “