Disaster would leave Australia with only three weeks of fuel – NRMA report

Australia could come to a standstill within three weeks if there was a major disruption to the country’s liquid fuel supply, according to a new report commissioned by NRMA Motoring & Services.

The report, Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security, was prepared by Air Vice-Marshal John Blackburn (retired). It highlights the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and fuel.

The report calls on the Australian Government to develop an effective fuel security plan to deal with extraordinary disruptions to supply outside normal daily supply and distribution such as war, economic turmoil or natural disasters. The report also revealed that if Australia’s oil supply was cut:

  • dry goods could run out within nine days;
  • chilled and frozen goods could run out within seven days;
  • retail pharmacy supplies could run out within seven days;
  • hospital pharmacy supplies could run out within three days; and
  • fuel available to the public could run out within three days.

NRMA Motoring & Services Director Graham Blight said 85 per cent of Australia’s transport fuel comes from overseas crude oil or imported fuel. “Almost 95 percent of our road transport network relies on oil – it would be crippled within weeks if Australia’s liquid fuel supply was disrupted,” Mr Blight said.

“We have about three weeks’ worth of fuel at our disposal before the country would come to a standstill. This fact alone should cause concern within the Australian Government and we want them to bring the planned 2014 assessment of Australia’s liquid fuel vulnerability forward to address this problem.

“Australia simply could not function without liquid transport fuels. The Australian Government must undertake a thorough analysis to identify and understand the risks that could affect our liquid fuel security. Only then can we make proper decisions to ensure an acceptable level of national resilience.”

The NRMA said that Australia needs a Fuel Security Plan to reduce dependence on overseas fuel supplies by sourcing local supplies and safeguarding local refining capabilities. The NRMA also wants such a plan to lead to development and use non-oil based alternative fuels or other resources available in Australia such as LPG and electric vehicles.

Leave a Reply

  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend