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PM must urgently intervene to prevent Kwinana fuel refinery from closing

October 30, 2020

Prime Minster Scott Morrison must urgently intervene to stop the closure of the Kwinana fuel refinery to protect the nation’s military and economic security, according to the Australian Workers’ Union.

BP today announced its intention to cease production at Kwinana refinery, one of only four Australian refineries remaining and the only one on the west coast.

The announcement flies in the face of the Morrison Government’s fuel security announcement last month, in which it “committed to a sovereign on-shore refinery capacity.”

AWU WA Secretary Brad Gandy said the news was a shock to members.

“The Kwinana refinery is rightly viewed by West Australians as a critical piece of state infrastructure and this announcement is shocking,” Mr Gandy said.

“650 employees who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to deliver fuel to West Australians have been utterly blindsided by management today.

“The union will be pulling out all stops to ensure these workers are not left high and dry by BP’s disastrous and heartless decision.”

AWU National Secretary Daniel Walton said BP’s announcement simply could not be accepted on national interest grounds.

“This a matter of national security BP cannot be allowed to breezily announce this on a Friday afternoon as if it’s some run-of-the-mill commercial decision,” Mr Walton said.

“Australia’s capacity to make its own fuel cuts to the heart of our viability as a sovereign nation. If we can’t independently fuel our trucks, our industry, and our defence vehicles, then we leave ourselves incredibly vulnerable.

“This is not one of these occasions where politicians can simply shake their heads and express disappointment. This is an occasion where the PM needs to get on the phone to BP and tell them to stop dead in their tracks. He should tell BP they will lose their social license to operate in Australia if they don’t throw this decision into reverse immediately.

“The federal government has very publicly acknowledged the important of hanging on to Australia’s bare bones refining capacity. Losing Kwinana would be a mortal blow to that intention.

“Our union will be pushing this as an emergency though all our political channels.”

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