Australian PM Introduces $250 Million Fuel Security Package

Australian PM Introduces $250 Million Fuel Security Package
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during question time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on March 30, 2022. (Martin Ollman/Getty Images)
Alfred Bui

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced measures to improve the country’s fuel security, including a $250 million (US$187 million) grant to two oil refineries on the third day of the election campaign.

An Ampol facility in Brisbane and the Viva Energy refinery in Geelong will share the package, with each receiving $125 million to perform major upgrades.

The prime minister said the upgrade package would safeguard Australia’s fuel production and supply from global uncertainty caused by events such as the Russia-Ukraine war.

“COVID-19, the Russian war in Ukraine and trade restrictions have disrupted global supply chains, and Australia is not immune,” he said.

“Oil refineries literally fuel a stronger economy, and these investments will help keep our truckies, miners, defence force and farmers moving across Australia.”

Adding to the prime minister’s remarks, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the $250 million investment would enable Australia’s refineries to produce better quality fuels and ensure sufficient local supplies.

He also said that the federal government’s grant would support new construction jobs and ongoing refinery workforce and benefit people’s health as the fuels produced by local refineries would have lower sulphur content.

“Our refineries enable us to be in a position where we can take the crude oil that we produce here in Australia … refined that fuel ourselves, and that puts us in a strong strategic circumstance for the worst possible outcomes,” he told 4BC radio.

“And so having that fuel security is crucial, but the health benefits are an important part of this because this enables us to move right across Australia to lower sulphur fuels.”

The Shell Oil refinery in Parramatta is seen on June 2, 2007, in Sydney, Australia. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
The Shell Oil refinery in Parramatta is seen on June 2, 2007, in Sydney, Australia. (Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Morrison began his third campaign day on April 13 by visiting a manufacturing facility in the electorate of Lindsay in western Sydney, currently held by the Coalition by a five percent margin.

He then moved to Corio in Geelong, Victoria, to campaign later in the day.

This comes after an incident occurred during the prime minister’s election campaign on April 12 when an angry young man confronted him at a private event in Sydney.

The 20-year-old was escorted off the Penrith’s Nepean Rowing Club by Morrison’s security and later posted the footage of his encounter with the prime minister on TikTok.

“Scomo, across the river here, across the Nepean River, people lost their houses, and they were burned. You’re a disgrace—you are a disgrace,” the man said.

It was later revealed that the heckler was a “progressive activist” and member of Young Labor, the youth wing of the Labor party.

Alfred Bui is an Australian reporter based in Melbourne and focuses on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and has two master’s degrees in business and business law. Contact him at [email protected].
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