Australia is the world’s ninth-largest energy producer and there are many renewable and non-renewable energy resources in our country. Despite this, we are heavily dependent on imports of refined petroleum products and crude oil to meet our liquid fuel demand.
With such a spread-out population, Australia relies heavily on road transportation to move goods and services around. Our transport system is more than 95 per cent dependent on oil.
Did you know that if the oil stopped coming, goods and services could dry up in just over a week?
According to research carried out for our report, 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.
Australia needs to develop an alternative fuels industry – and only then, could we ween ourselves off our world oil dependency.
It doesn’t help that Sydney will have no refining capacity after 2014. The Clyde refinery closed last year and Kurnell will follow soon. If our supplies are cut off due to disruption to our shipping lanes, we would find ourselves in a crisis situation very quickly.
Australia continues to adopt a “she’ll be right” approach to fuel security, relying on global oil and fuel markets.
These markets have proven to be volatile with fluctuations of up to 60 cents per litre for unleaded fuel prices at the pump seen in the space of just six months. The reason for dramatic fluctuations can include conflict in the Middle East and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina.
This report is another wake-up call for governments to get serious about developing an alternative fuels industry.
Are you concerned about Australia’s oil dependency? Would you like the Government to do more to develop our alternative fuel industry?
The NRMA’s Australia’s Liquid Fuel Security report can be downloaded at: http://www.mynrma.com.au/about/reports-and-submissions.htm.