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State Labor must not abandon Geelong refinery workers

Premier Andrews and the State Labor Government must come to the table with a substantial support package for the Viva Energy’s Geelong Refinery.

Last month, the Morrison Government announced a comprehensive fuel security plan. This plan will increase Australia’s onshore stockholdings and support an appropriate refining capacity for our future needs, while protecting Australian motorists from higher prices.

Richard Marles’s comments today calling for additional federal support show him to be a complete hypocrite. In 2012 and under Labor’s carbon tax, Shell’s Clyde Refinery and Caltex’s Kurnell Refinery announced their closure – when Richard Marles and Labor were last in government.

Labor has no plan to support our refining sector and with election policies like Labor’s 45% emissions reduction target, Labor has demonstrated its mission is to shut down energy intensive industries and businesses such as the Geelong Refinery.

As BP has publicly stated, this decision is not a reflection of current local policy settings. It is a commercial decision based on their global supply chain portfolio and regional competition, and those pressures have been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the global economy.

State Labor must not repeat the devastating mistakes of their federal colleagues.

The Morrison Government is backing our national refinery capability and recognises the importance local refining has to our national security and economic future. Our comprehensive fuel security package will:

  • invest $200 million in a competitive grants program to build an additional 780ML of onshore diesel storage;
  • create a minimum stockholding obligation for key transport fuels; and
  • back the refining sector by entering into a detailed market design process for a refinery production payment which is estimated will deliver the Geelong Refinery $70 million per annum.

I call on the State Labor Government to back the 700 manufacturing jobs at the Geelong Refinery and deliver support

2 November 2020

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