Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it would protect hundreds of jobs at both the Ampol refinery at Lytton and the Viva refinery in Geelong:
- This is a key plank of our plan to secure Australia's recovery from the pandemic and to prepare against any future crises
- Shoring up our fuel security means protecting 1,250 jobs, giving certainty to key industries, and bolstering our national security
Experts have warned Australia is becoming increasingly reliant on imported refined fuel, while unions argue the nation could «grind to a halt» if maritime supply chains are disrupted by a conflict or natural disaster.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said:
- Fuel is what keeps us and the economy moving
- That is why we are backing our refineries
- Supporting our refineries will ensure we have the sovereign capability needed to prepare for any event, protect families and businesses from higher prices at the bowser, and keep Australia moving as we secure our recovery from COVID19
The government expects the upgrades to create 1,750 construction jobs and to bring forward improvements to fuel quality by three years, from 2027 to 2024.