Fuel security: Is 20 days enough?

Australia faces significant risks to national security, energy security and climate change mitigation, due to a heavy reliance on imported oil and access to only a limited amount of fuel at any one time, according to new analysis from the Australia Institute.
The new research finds that Australia is unprepared to deal with any potential fuel security crisis.
Key findings:
90 per cent of the fuel consumed in Australia is derived from oil sourced outside of Australia.
In FY2018 Australia had on average access to 20 days’ worth of fuel. The emergency powers to ration fuel stocks would take up to three weeks to be implemented.
Australia’s oil production has already peaked and is likely to continue to decline.
Addressing Australia’s fuel security risks requires reducing oil use through increased fuel efficiency and transition to non-oil-based transport.
Electric vehicle uptake increases transport energy security by replacing imported fuel with domestically produced electricity.
“Last year Australia had access to only 20 days-worth of liquid fuel, but the emergency powers to ration fuel stocks take up to 3 weeks to be implemented. This means that by the time the rationing powers come into force, there may not be any fuel left to ration,” said Richie Merzian, Climate and Energy Program director at the Australia Institute.
“90 per cent of Australia’s fuel – like petrol and diesel – is sourced from overseas, and Australia only has about 20 days of fuel in reserve. Given Australia is clearly not equipped to deal with a liquid fuel security crisis, we strongly support a review of the Liquid Fuel emergency Act.
“Australia Institute research makes it clear that producing more oil in Australia is not the answer to the fuel security problem. Australia’s oil production has already peaked and there is great uncertainty surrounding the scale, quality and viability of oil production in prospective resources.
“Addressing Australia’s fuel security risks requires a reduction in oil use.  This involves increasing fuel efficiency and transitioning to non-oil energy sources through electric vehicle targets and fuel efficiency standards.
“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.”
The submission, Liquid Fuel Security Review, was prepared by Tom Swann, a senior researcher at Climate and Energy Program at the Australia Institute.

More time to submit your Smart papers

The deadline to apply to present a paper at Smart 2009 has been extended to October 13, to enable all interested potential speakers the opportunity to submit their abstract.

Under the theme ‘BRIDGING THE GAP with Innovation and New Business Strategy’, Smart 2009 will feature multiple streams, each focusing on a specific area of the supply chain and strategically designed to help address current and future supply chain challenges.

Smart 2009 organising committee chair Denis Horder said: “Due to the introduction of several new streams in 2009, the Smart organising committee is keen to ensure experts in these fields have time to submit their applications so we can guarantee the most highly credentialed line-up of speakers.” 

Speakers are currently being sought to address the following key areas:

•         Energy security and sustainability – including the growing gap between demand and supply of transport fuels, and the repercussions of targeted greenhouse gas emission levels.

•         Infrastructure – the gaps between actual and required investment levels, and the need for new infrastructure to support new energy paradigms.

•         The human factor – the current and growing skills crisis, and injury levels versus ‘zero targets’ in workplace safety.

•         Connected supply chains – specifically, the opportunities offered by connecting geographically dispersed global supply chains, and business strategies, technologies and systems needed to achieve and support future supply chain potential.

Applications to present a paper can be lodged via online at www.smartconference.com.au or contact the Smart 2009 secretariat on (02) 9223 9366, or email admin@smartconference.com.au.

About Smart Conference

Smart 2009 Conference takes place 10 – 11 June 2009 at Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour. Smart 2009 is organised by a committee of independent advisors and representatives from leading industry associations: Logistics Association of Australia (LAA), APICS (Australasian Production and Inventory Control Society), Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Australia (CIPSA), The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Australia (CILTA), and The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA).

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