Tuesday, 22 June 2021
Fuel Security Bill 2021, Fuel Security (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2021; In Committee
I'm not sure what kind of pubs you're frequenting, Senator Rice, that they would meet the Greens' pub test. I drink at the Chisholm Tavern, and I don't think they would believe a word of what was just said, or in fact in 99 per cent of the pubs in this country. I suspect that in these pubs you refer to, which have goat cheese—and I'm all for goat's cheese; I think goat cheese is delicious—they might be consuming more than just alcohol in order to accept the pub test you have just put forward.
On the amendments, the government doesn't support either amendment. The first amendment moved considers matters outside the scope of the bill. The amendment would introduce risk and uncertainty to the commencement and delivery of these important measures. The measures in this bill are needed now. We can't afford delays. The bill must come into effect on 1 July 2021, otherwise there is a real risk that both refineries will withdraw from their in-principle agreement and cease operations. The bill will immediately protect the 1,250 jobs at our local refineries and protect our workers in fuel dependent industries, like our truckies, tradies and farmers. This is critically important.
The government does not support the second amendment moved either. This amendment seeks to enable Productivity Commission reviews on matters unrelated to the vital fuel security measures in the bill. In line with regulatory best practice, the government will closely monitor the impacts of these measures on the market and on Australia's fuel security. The government is already committed to a milestone report after two years, which has been agreed to by both refineries.
This is referenced on page 60 of the EM. It will ensure that the fuel security service payments are working as intended and are appropriate to market conditions. It will consider how the implementation of the minimum stock holding obligation is progressing, and will assess the implementation of the fuel standards aromatics review.