The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) welcomes the Federal Government’s $211 million dollar investment for Australia’s fuel security and says the decision will help secure the essential fuel needed to keep Victoria’s agriculture industry moving.
VFF Grains Group President Ashley Fraser said ensuring farmers and industry has access to a secure and affordable supply of fuel is critical for today’s modern agriculture industry.
“Half of Victoria’s exports come from the agriculture industry and a huge part of that is from our grain growers.”
“Everything from sowing crops to transporting food and fibre to market relies on a steady, affordable supply of fuel.”
“Recent events have highlighted just how important our critical supply chains are and this investment will help ensure agriculture can continue to feed the nation,” Mr Fraser said.
Mr Fraser pointed to the 2012 Geelong Shell Diesel Refinery breakdown as an example of how vulnerable Victorian agriculture has been to fuel shortages in the past.
“The fuel supply interruption we experienced in December 2012 came at an extremely bad time when many farmers were in the middle of harvest.”
“You can’t just switch agriculture on and off. Farmers have only a short window of time to harvest their crops and maintaining a reliable source of fuel is vital.”
“The move to ensure sufficient on-shore storage and supporting local refining capacity is critical to future-proof the agriculture industry against any fuel shortages.” Mr Fraser said.
The VFF will continue to lobby for farmers to be included as essential users as an amendment to the Liquid Fuel Emergency Act 1984.