Australia has enjoyed 40 years without a major disruption to domestic liquid fuel supplies. While we can take some comfort with business as usual, we need to be prepared for new and emerging threats. Our world is now more interconnected and interdependent than ever before and the global economy is growing. At the same time, antiglobalist attitudes are rising and we face a diverse range of security threats, including foreign interference. Some public commentary has suggested that Australia lacks resilience in the supply of liquid fuels and that this constitutes unacceptable risk.

This is the time to take a close look at our liquid fuel security to ensure that we can deliver affordable and reliable energy for all Australians. The Australian Government has commenced the Liquid Fuel Security Review—an in-depth look at the liquid fuel sector that tests the resilience of the supply of liquid fuels to all sectors of Australian society, economy and security in foreseeable and credible scenarios.

This interim report provides the initial findings of the review. It presents our understanding of how the liquid fuel supply chain operates and highlights areas of risk. The report will inform a period of public consultation that will seek views and experience from businesses and the community. Consultation is essential to ensure our understanding of the liquid fuel market is accurate. Feedback on the interim report will inform the final report to Government in the second half of 2019. The final report will provide an assessment of risks in the liquid fuel market and support robust policy options for improving fuel security.

Early findings demonstrate that the liquid fuel market is increasingly complex and globally integrated, with a range of different players. Many factors, such as supply disruptions from natural disasters, are beyond the control of government. This means that fuel security is not a problem to be solved but, rather, something to be monitored and managed to minimise risks as the market adapts to our changing needs over time. Transparency in fuel supply chains is essential for industry and the Government to be able to effectively manage our fuel security.

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