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by Christian Downie
The Australian government’s announcement on 13 April that it will subsidise the country’s oil refineries to the tune of $250 million for projects that will not be completed until 2024 highlights the problems with Australia’s present approach to energy security.
For more than a decade, Australia has had a fuel security problem. Put simply, Australia consumes more oil than it did a decade ago, produces less, and for various reasons, both commercial and political, the country’s emergency reserves – which should be equivalent to at least 90 days of net oil imports – are the lowest of any International Energy Agency member country.