No government-mandated strategic reserve supply of fuel
by staff writers
A former army Chief turned senator has warned that the Liberal and Labor policies of turning Australia into a service nation could leave us vulnerable to attack from near neighbours.
The loss of any ability to manufacture on a medium scale, basic motor vehicles, parts or advanced weaponry and the inaction of government over a mandatory fuel reserve storage plan could halt any prolonged military protection for the nation by our troops.
Free trade has sounded the death knell for most Australian industries and the petroleum refining industry is no exception.
The Australian Institute of Petroleum says the domestic context of high operating costs, ageing facilities, increasing sea miles for the transport of crude to the refineries, shallow berths that are not suitable for large crude carriers, increasing technical complexity needed for refining of the broad range of crude oil and the high Australian dollar, put Australia at a competitive disadvantage, resulting in the closure of some domestic refineries that are no longer commercially competitive.
Jim Molan was the chief of operations for coalition forces in Iraq and will enter the senate next month, replacing former deputy Nationals leader Fiona Nash who was forced out due to dual citizenship.
He has issued a stark warning about Australia’s readiness for war, saying the armed forces could be ineffective within 19 days if current stockpiles of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel run dry.
“We are almost unique throughout the world in that we don’t have a government-mandated strategic reserve of fuel,” Senator Molan said.
“There are things that we can probably never build in this country, such as the Joint Strike Fighter and the most advanced missiles,” he continued.
“But we should guarantee their delivery to Australia — which you can rarely do — or we should have them in warehouses.
“Unless we have a plan to get them when we need them … then I, as an ex-military commander, wouldn’t want to cross the start line in doing something militarily unless I had those warehouses behind me.”
The 2016 Defence White Paper warned Australia’s dependency on fuel imports was a risk given tensions in the South China Sea, which is a major shipping route.
US military assistance not guaranteed
Senator Molan has also warned that military support from the US is not guaranteed and the Federal Government needs to be more prepared.
“Australia should be thinking about the level of defence expenditure that we are prepared to commit ourselves if America was the centre pole of our defence policy and now may not be as strong as it once was,” Senator Molan said.
Senator Molan said US Defence Secretary James Mattis has raised concerns about the readiness of the US military’s readiness for war.
“That should be ringing bells all over the world,” Senator Molan said.
Half of Australia’s fuel is imported- five refineries left
The Petroleum Institute has thrown its weight behind imported fuel claiming the closure of the refineries will not lead to negative price outcomes for consumers. Australian fuel prices reflect an import parity price, which is the price in international markets.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was clear in its advice to the API committee that as a result of import parity pricing, the retail price for petrol is not impacted by refinery closures.
Australia can source its liquid fuel needs from a diversity of sources so that if one source becomes unavailable other sources can meet demand according to the committee report.
Following the closure of the Clyde and Kurnell oil refineries, refinery capacity in Australia will decrease about 28 per cent and leave five operating refineries.
Domestic refiners will produce just over half the fuel consumed in Australia with the remainder being imported. Consequently, concerns have been raised about the viability of Australia’s oil refinery industry, and the potential impacts of declining domestic refinery capacity on the economy, energy security and employment in the sector.
The most pessimistic view was that this is the beginning of the end of Australian refining, and the most optimistic view was that there is a future for Australian refining, albeit under increasing competitive pressure.
The committee noted that during the last decade the oil industry has invested over $9 billion in its Australian refineries.
The Liberal and Labor free trade mantra has all but destroyed our once great manufacturing base. No cars, no parts, no tyres, no fuel, no white goods, no military aeroplanes, no guns, only minute amounts of ammo, no boots, clothing or equipment for the military. All of it is imported.
Dear Senator Payne,
I am a seventy year old, Vietnam Veteran with a long standing involvement within the defence industry. Thus, I believe I can present some credible views as to the release of the new “White Paper”. These views, questions and concerns, are common topics of conversation amongst members of an extensive network of ex service personnel: though non service people are increasingly joining our ranks, mostly revealing their deep concerns at the direction this country is being driven.
Senator, in order to save time and a lengthy diatribe, I shall present the views, questions and concerns in dot point. Hopefully, you shall endeavour to respond, rather than directing this email to be dispensed with by programmed office sycophants.
- Seventy one years ago, Australians freely gave their lives to prevent a most fearful enemy into this country. Government of those days, clearly recognised the threat and countered it with the only means at its disposal. Our current Government, is obviously failing to realise the terrible internal threat to this nations security, and in obvious fear of the horror it has itself created, continues to allow the flood of Islamic pseudo refugees into this country, providing food, shelter and funding, all at the expense of needy Australians. The problems in the ME have all been orchestrated to create an invading army of pseudo refugees. A most brilliant strategy by Islam. Their awareness of the western weakness of blind benevolence, and using this weakness against us, rather leaves our western Governments in the shadows. Senator, what is the accurate current number of Muslims in this country, and what are the projected figures, extrapolated out to say, ten years??? Perhaps a percentage base of total population.
- Our twelve new conventional submarines, which shall provide the fighting edge of our nation for thirty years, if lucky, should last up to one week. Our obsolete conventional submarines shall surely become cremation urns within seconds of meeting a nuclear powered enemy. A thousand such submarines, are not going to be sufficient value when the jihad turns to reality in the centre of Sydney, even if they were nuclear powered. Perhaps our esteemed leadership should start to consider Islam as the true major threat – just a thought, as their numbers are increasing at such an alarming rate.
- Government appears to have a rooted objection to nuclear power, thus the question must be raised, as to why a nuclear dump is planned for South Australia???? Conventional versus nuclear: a contest between rifle and tank in comparison.
- The news service this morning continually referenced the increased threat China is presenting. With our all knowing Government signing away huge chunks of this country to China, why would China possibly pose a threat to something it actually owns???????
- One could ask of you Senator, why Australian troops, returning from front line theatres of war, carrying associated war injuries, both physical and mental, must enter a further battlefield within their own country, in order to receive the help they so desperately need? Perhaps I may be so bold as to make a recommendation at this point, that shall remove both the Government annoyance of wounded battle victims, and prevent further deaths of young Australians: “Disband the military completely”. My point in raising this issue, being that there may be problems arising in raising the manpower to man twelve submarines. The poor treatment of returned servicemen is not a nationwide secret, in fact, we do whatever we collectively can, to dissuade young people from entering the military. Without a military, would also provide a massive savings, as we would no longer be able to offer expensive military support to our pseudo U.S friends, in the singular purpose of protection of U.S interests.
- Should our Government finally wake up and address the outlandish foreign aid program, remove our signature from the nonsensical human rights contract, then redirect these wasted funds to helping Australian war damaged: probably gain you some support in manning the cheap-as chips, obsolete before we start building, new boats.
Having listened to the news service regarding release of the White paper, my first thoughts drew me to the old adage: “if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, the probability being, it is a duck” – similarly with “Nonsense”. Our politicians are to be well congratulated, as all are so able to speak “Nonsense”, very, very well. The Liberal member, or supporter, in addressing the new paper, spoke with such conviction, I almost made a commitment to join the party. Then with five seconds to digest the content, almost turned to tears.
Most of our politicians are university graduates, which, obviates the need to close universities immediately, thus preventing further accumulation. Should we as a nation, ever receive from our leadership, the degree of leadership, for which we pay such rich rewards, then heaven would be the second most desirable place to be.
May I congratulate you on becoming the first female to hold this position. You may have mountains to climb in this position, Senator, as we have not really enjoyed the privilege of such women in Government as the expensive Gillard and Bishop girls, plus the sadly lacking in all theatres, Sarah Hanson Young – all rather pointless exercises in female promotion. We all realise male domination of Parliament has attracted the most fearful crowd of no hopers this country could muster, and lived in hope our women could do better.
May God help Australia – our last chance.
John Bushell (contact detail withheld)