John Madigan (Former Senator) on Defence & Fuel Security
DEFENCE & FUEL SECURITY
03 March 2017
Today’s Herald Sun page 5 Australia’s F-35 Lightning 11 Joint Strike Fighter $17 billion dollars for 72 RAAF F35 aircraft.
ABC Radio AM program today ” Stumbling into confrontation ” Australia’s new foreign policy, trade landscape in the world of Trump.
Back in 2015 with the support of my cross bench Senate colleagues I managed to get a Senate enquiry into fuel security. It was called ” Australia’s Transport Energy Resilience & Sustainability “. The committee sat in Sydney on 2nd February 2015 & Melbourne on 9th April 2015.
Today’s AM program speaks about the fact that the majority of Australia’s fuel is imported and comes from Singapore. The tankers delivering our fuel come through the South China Sea, an area of the world which is of great concern. Many Australians are unaware of our dependence on imported fuel for our everyday needs. Our refining capabilities are approaching non existent.
The first two F35 JSF arrived in Australia this week for the air show at Avalon in Victoria this weekend. These aircraft are vital to Australia’s defence, being able to project a credible deterrent from our shores and protect our interests in our region they are critical to our national security.
Having committed $17 billion dollars to this project how about the government start some credible planning and commit resources to our fuel security. This would involve securing a refining capability in Australia, looking at and implementing – supporting alternative fuel such as ethanol and biofuels, increasing fuel stockpiles from the currently quoted approximate 3 weeks of supply onshore currently. The Senate committee looked at the precarious state of fuel security in this country and made recommendations to the government.
The government needs to bloody wake up, you can spend billions on the JSF but they won’t fly without fuel. trucks cannot transport our grain, food, medical supplies without diesel. Our farmers cannot plough their paddocks, harvest their crops without diesel. Our firefighters cannot fight fires without diesel in their trucks. Police and Ambulance, medical supplies cannot reach people who need help without fuel. Your car will not take you anywhere without petrol.
MR TURNBULL THE MARKET WILL NOT PROVIDE WHAT IS NECESSARY FOR NATIONAL SECURITY, THAT IS THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY STOP OUTSOURCING THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT OR MAYBE THE PEOPLE WILL OUTSOURCE THE ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT, THIS ALSO APPLIES EQUALLY TO THE OPPOSITION, FOR AUSTRALIA’S SAKE START DOING WHATS IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST THAT IS THE WELL BEING OF EACH AND EVERY AUSTRALIAN.
I was concerned in 2015 about our fuel security. Two years later what I feared could happen is happening we as a nation are drifting aimlessly without a national fuel strategy in the event of conflict or interruption to supply. Tonight two years later I worry the government is asleep at the wheel, I hope and pray that we don’t find ourselves in a conflict or interruption to supply. Our nation will grind to a halt very quickly.
John Madigan – Australian Country Party