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Monday, 3 December 2018
Page: 12351


Mr BRIAN MITCHELL (Lyons) (16:32): Australia has three weeks of fuel. Think about that. We live in a period of growing regional instability and geopolitical uncertainty. Relations are tense between the major powers—the US, Russia and China—and there are ongoing conflicts across the Middle East and Asia Minor. We can take nothing for granted. We have enough fuel to keep our country going for just three weeks and then the nation simply stops. It is a national security disaster waiting to happen. Our international obligations mandate that we should have enough fuel in this place to keep us going for at least three months. We are meeting one-quarter of our international obligations.

This government prides itself on national security credentials, but we have a clear and present national security threat right in front of us that this government does nothing about. In fact, the policies of this government are directly responsible for the fuel and national security threat we now face. Today, I attended the launch of a research report, Australia's fuel security: running on empty, commissioned by the Maritime Union of Australia—doing the job the government should be doing. It is a must-read for anyone claiming to be interested in national security. It cannot be ignored. Key to it is rebuilding an Australian maritime fleet that we can all be proud of and not relying on foreign vessels and foreign crews.