The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is calling on the Victorian Government to provide financial support to protect the state’s domestic refining capacity in the wake of COVID-19 related lower fuel demands placing pressure on domestic refineries.
VFF Grains Group President Ashley Fraser said reports of the future of Victoria’s two remaining refineries in Geelong and Altona potentially being under a cloud is concerning for today’s modern agriculture industry.
“Everything from sowing crops to transporting food and fibre to market relies on a steady, affordable supply of fuel.”
“Without government action, we could have a scenario where 100% of our fuel is imported, which leaves Australia very exposed in the event of an emergency.”
Mr Fraser highlighted 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.”
“To not have fuel to power harvesting machinery and transport produce simply means production grinds to a halt.”
“Supporting local refining capacity is critical for mitigating risk of future fuel shortages,” Mr Fraser said.
The VFF will continue to lobby the Victorian Government to ensure domestic refining capacity remains in Victoria.