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Report of national petroleum advisory committee

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by the Minister for National Development and Energy

(6(1 f*v


The Commonwealth Minister for National Development and

Energy, Senator Sir John Garrick, today released the

report of the National Petroleum Advisory Committee (NPAC)

entitled "Management of a National Liquid Fuels Supply

Emergency". .

The Minister was pleased to note that NPAC's recommendations

had been endorsed by the Federal, State and Northern Territory Governments as an appropriate basis for preparing for and managing a national liquid fuels emergency.

Since its formation in September 1979, NPAC, under the

chairmanship of Sir Frank Espie QBE, has met regularly in the process of formulating its advice to Governments on appropriate arrangements and priorities for the equitable

allocation of liquid fuels during periods of shortage. A .

list of NPAC members is attached. ' ■

The Minister noted that NPAC had recommended that the overall response of Governments to a national liquid fuel

supply emergency should be to minimise the total impact of

the emergency on the community while, at the same time,

ensuring that individuals did not carry a disproportionate burden. Senator Garrick said that in practice this would involve maintaining essential services, minimising economic

dislocation and ensuring that the distribution of fuel

achieved the greatest degree of equity possible.

In relation to Governmental responsibilities the Minister noted that NPAC had stressed the need for the Commonwealth, State


and Northern Territory Governments to act in full cooperation

to achieve an efficient and co-ordinated approach to the crisis

on a national basis. NPAC recommended that the Commonwealth

Government, in consultation with the States and the Northern

Territory, should have the responsibility for national co­ ordination, the development of a consistent framework of response,

assessment and monitoring of available supplies on a national basis, liaison with the oil industry at the national level,

allocation of oil among the States and other matters of national

interest, including liaison with the International Energy

Agency, impact on national security and external relations, and foreign trade. . .

The State Governments, working within an agreed framework of

co-ordinated national emergency measures established in con­

sultation with the Commonwealth and other States, would have responsibility for the administration of the co-ordinated

response to the crisis within their own regions.

The Minister noted that NPAC had concluded that in mild short­

falls it may be sufficient for Governments to limit action

to attempting to augment supplies, and monitoring supply, . ' demand and prices as the normal operation of market forces might be expected to achieve a reasonably satisfactory balance

between supply and demand. In more serious shortfalls, how­

ever, NPAC concluded that governments may decide that it was. necesary to intervene and implement quantitative allocation

measures to achieve a satisfactory balance between supply and.

demand. Such measures include:

- "bulk allocation" for account customers whereby each .

customer received a percentage of normal usage;

- "ad hoc measures" to restrict retail sales (eg reduce service station trading hours, odds/evens days, minimum/


maximum purchases) - these measures can be introduced

at short notice with a minimum of administrative effort

and would in general be used in conjunction with bulk

allocation for bulk sales; '

- motor spirit rationing scheme - it is expected that this

standby scheme would only be used in extreme circumstances where the situation had become very serious and the "ad

hoc" measures had proved ineffective; .

- marine and aviation bunker controls - to be brought into

effect as soon as serious problems arise in marine and aviation fuels; and

- export controls which would,be used to limit exports to

traditional markets to the same percentage cutback as

applied to Australian Users. .

The Minister said that Governments would continue to develop their preparedness for a national fuel emergency by acting

upon the recommendations of NPAC. · .


D.J. Ives 062-453312-(BH)

L " 062-863458 (AH)

A.G.Christie 062-453390 (BH)

062-317585 (AH)


16 September 1982



Present Membership · ·

Sir Frank Espie, O B E .

Dr E.K. Campbell

M r .F .A. Connell, AM .

Mr J .A. Dembecki

Sir Max Dillon

Sir Donald Eckersley, OBE Mr R.M. Evans Mr S. Balcombe

Mr J . Marshall .

Mr A.V. Gray . .

Mr D.J. Ives .

Mr R . Overall -­

Mr J.F. Kirk ^

Mr J.B. Kirkwood

Mr R.G.McLennan

Mr L.E. Marks .

D.r M.J. Messenger

Mr B.V. Millane

Mr P . Parkin Mr J.T. Woods

Retired Members


Department of Mines and Energy, Northern Territory

Australian Fishing Industry Council

Energy Authority of New South Wales

Confederation of Australian Industry

National Farmers' Federation Australian Automobile Association

Premier's Department, Tasmania Department of Capital Territory, Australian Capital Territory

Metal Trades Industry Association Commonwealth Department of National Development and Energy Australian Council of Trade Unions

Australian Institute of Petroleum

State Energy Commission of Western Australia Australian Chamber of Shipping

Transport Industries Advisory Council

Department of Mines and Energy, South Australia

Department of Minerals and Energy, Victoria . ■

Australian Institute of Petroleum

Mines Department, Queensland

Mr N.C.K. Evers

Sir Leslie Froggatt

Mr L.L. Gillespie

Mr J.M. Greenwood, AM

Mr D .G . Howe .

Mr N .G . Jenner

Mr W.J. Kelty

Mr S.M.F. Martin, OBE, MC

Mr P.H. Sleigh .

Premier's Department, Tasmania

Australian Institute of Petroleum

Department of Capital Territory, Australian Capital Territory Australian Automobile Association General Aviation Association

Australian Chamber of Shipping

Australian Council of Trade Unions

Transport Industries Advisory Council

Australian Institute of Petroleum

Secretary .

Dr A.G. Christie Commonwealth Department of National • .Development and Energy