The National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the Federal Government announcement for a variable Fuel Security Payment (FSP) to ensure domestic refining capacity for diesel, having highlighted the need to do more to sure up Australia’s fuel supplies for sometime.

“The breakdown of international supply chains during this COVID-19 period has demonstrated that a reliance on imported goods alone is not enough, particularly for critical goods such as fuels,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.

The FSP will provide payments to refineries during downtimes, ensuring Australia does not lose critical refining capacity from a fuel security perspective.

“There is a public benefit in ensuring fuel security, and it is only right that refiners are financially supported to provide this public good.”

The agriculture industry is reliant on diesel fuel for many on-farm processes, and given the intensity of these activities, there are no alternative sources of energy in the short to medium term.

“Farmers rely heavily on diesel fuel for a variety of on-farm operations, such as sowing the winter crop, which grain growers across the country are busy doing right now.

“While new novel sources of power energy such as hydrogen, hold potential for agriculture, the secure supply of diesel will be a critical issue for farmers for the foreseeable future,” Mr Mahar said.

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