In recent years, the diversity and complexity of public policy debates affecting the downstream petroleum industry has increased markedly.

As the voice of the downstream petroleum industry, ACAPMA has similarly been required to expand its advocacy focus to ensure that the bona-fide interests of our members continue to be protected.

Forty years ago, when the Association was first established, the biggest policy issues facing the industry were reliability of fuel supplies (particularly in the face of a global oil crisis) and community concerns about fuel prices.

While these issues remain relevant today, the industry is now required to respond effectively to new legislation and increasing community expectations in areas such as safe workplace operation, safe transportation of fuels, responsible employment practices and protection of the environment.

The transition of the retail side of the industry – from one historically selling fuel and automotive services, to one that now predominantly sells fuel and convenience goods – has also created new public policy challenges for ACAPMA (The recent introduction of new national legislation governing the sale of tobacco products in Australia is a case in point).

“Our challenge as an industry Association has been to develop reasoned public policy positions in each of these new areas so that we remain relevant to the variety of public policy debates that have the potential to impact on our industry – both now and in the future”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

“To that end, the ACAPMA Board recently finalised work on a comprehensive public policy framework. This framework will be used to guide the advocacy efforts and media activities of the Association in the future,” Mark said.

The new public policies of the organisation have been developed around five key themes, namely:

  1. National Fuel supply. Ensuring that the future outlook for the Australian economy is one underpinned by a reliable and affordable fuel supply that provides equitable access to fuel for all Australians, regardless of where they live.
  2. Safe Industry operation. Ensuring that every level of our industry seeks to minimise harm to our employees, our customers and the community at large.
  3. Industry social responsibility. Ensuring that our industry operates in a manner that is consistent with the reasonable expectations of the Australian community with respect to employment practices, environmental protection and the responsible sale of goods.
  4. Business costs. Minimising the costs of doing business with a particular focus on business taxes, bank charges and unduly restrictive workforce practices.
  5. Alternative fuels. Supporting the market entry of alternative fuels where there is a demonstrable and ‘natural’ demand for such fuels in the marketplace – as opposed to demand that is artificially created by government mandates.

ACAPMA’s new advocacy framework is outlined in a document that can be obtained by clicking here.

“Our intent in making this document widely available to all interested parties is to promote a greater understanding of the issues that are important to our industry. It is hoped that this, in turn, will help to ensure that we remain connected to the important policy debates that are relevant to the interests of our members,” Mark said.

Further information about ACAPMA’s advocacy efforts can be obtained by calling the Secretariat on 1300 160 270 or by emailing us at assist@acapma.com.au

 

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