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BREAKING: Fuel Security Bill passed into law

June 22, 2021

The AWU campaign to secure the future of Australia’s fuel refining industry has been rewarded with the passing of legislation in Federal Parliament this week.

The Fuel Security Bill 2021 and the Fuel Security (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2021 cleared Federal Parliament yesterday.

The Bills provide a lifeline to keep our last two fuel refineries open and shore up our national fuel security.

AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton welcomed the legislation.

“We’ve been saying for over a decade Australia should never become a nation that can’t make its own fuel, and that we need not reach that dire situation if we get a few policy settings right,” he said.


“The ongoing viability of our refineries means the skills of highly specialised technicians will be preserved – skills that will be needed as we transition toward a future of hydrogen and renewables.

“Being able to make our own fuel is a critical sovereign capability. Without it, our national and economic security are completely at the mercy of trade routes that are threatened by potential international conflict or pandemics.”

The AWU campaign involved delegates from Ampol Lytton and Viva Geelong, along with the AWU leadership team, meeting with senior government ministers in Canberra.

Sadly, in just the last six months two more refineries, Kwinana and Altona, have been forced to close.

They called for a serious and immediate commitment to save the industry during a time of ongoing crisis.

The legislation will provide financial relief for the refineries in times of difficulty, plus capital to co-invest in sulphur reduction upgrades.

These upgrades will provide cleaner fuel and a longer life to Geelong and Lytton, with a capacity to convert to new technologies or fuels in the future.

As well as saving thousands of jobs, the legislation means Australia will retain the capacity to produce our own fuel – which is critical to our national security.

“The coronavirus pandemic has shown that we cannot rely on international supply chains,” Dan said. “If we were no longer able to import fuel, Australia would have just two weeks’ of supply – and our domestic refining capacity falls well short of what is needed to keep Australia moving.

“Without fuel Australia would not be able to transport, feed, medicate or defend itself within days in what would be a national emergency never before seen.”

It’s great to see AWU member action become law in the highest parliament of the land. Australian security and AWU member jobs being protected by Australian law – that’s what the power of unionism can do.

Read more about the AWU’s submission to the Parliament on Fuel Security here.

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