Policy success in Australia’s liquid fuel market could be demonstrated through the following outcomes:
- continued open access to reliable and diverse international and national supply chains that provide sufficient volume and product range to meet current and projected liquid fuel needs
- a pipeline of investment sufficient to ensure the timely development of adequate import and distribution infrastructure, as well as further commercial reinvestment in domestic refining capacity
- ongoing improvement in Australian fuel and vehicle performance standards, consistent with our environmental (including climate), health and safety, and energy policy objectives
- further commercial development of Australian alternative fuel opportunities, including through research and development, market testing and trials of commercial products
- the development of a consistent and coherent market-based framework that moves towards an even playing field for all liquid fuels in the long term.
Liquid fuel market policy actions
To ensure that Australia is positioned to meet its liquid fuel needs, the Australian Government will:
- continue to monitor developments in the liquid fuel market, including liquid fuel supply vulnerabilities associated with the decline in domestic refining capacity
- work with industry and, guided by the Alternative Transport Fuels Implementation Advisory Group, pursue a market-led approach to the development and deployment of alternative transport fuels
- develop a more consistent long-term policy framework for liquid fuels so as to promote stability and certainty for future investment, with the first step being the Productivity Commission review of fuel excise arrangements and an examination of a regime based precisely on the carbon and energy content of fuels, which is to be completed in time to allow any changes to be implemented by 2015–16.
The government will maintain and improve our understanding of the liquid fuels market through:
- assessing Australia’s liquid fuel vulnerabilities as part of the National Energy Security Assessment (this will cover the liquid fuel supply chain, including import and refining infrastructure and critical supply linkages)
- improving the quality of the Australian Petroleum Statistics, including consideration of mandatory reporting
- undertaking biennial Australian Liquid Fuel Technology Assessments from 2013.