WAxit Party Slams Government Responses to BP Kwinana Closure Announcement
Leader of the WAxit Party, Mr Russell Sewell, has slammed the response of Western Australia’s State Government and the Federal Government to the announcement by BP of its intentions to close its Kwinana refinery.
“The Federal Government should rightly be disappointed with the refinery closure and feel sorry for displaced workers and affected local businesses,” Mr Sewell said, “but they are dreaming if they think that there will be no long-term impact on Australian fuel supplies.”
“The closure of BP Kwinana will leave only two refiners operating in Australia, and both of these operations are located thousands of kilometres away from WA. This will inevitably leave Western Australia in a precarious position should a world-wide fuel crisis emerge, as has happened in the past,” Mr Sewell said.
“The closure announcement comes on top of recent reports that Australia’s fuel reserves will only guarantee a supply for a matter of weeks, and revelations that the nation’s strategic fuel reserves are actually held in the United States of America,” Mr Sewell said.
Mr Sewell said the State Government gifted the land for a refinery to BP back in the 1950’s. “The purpose of the gift was to ensure petroleum products were produced in WA,” Mr Sewell said. “If BP thinks it is reasonable to keep the land and use it only as a tank farm, then the State Government needs to tell them to think again. Other petroleum importers have had to establish storage facilities on land they purchased themselves. They should rightly feel aggrieved if BP is allowed to continue a reduced operation on land that was gifted to them for another purpose,” he said.
“It is laughable that the State Government’s actions will be limited to supporting workers with advice and retraining, and creating a clean energy hub in Kwinana. But for what jobs, I ask?” Mr Sewell said. “We all support the idea of a clean energy future. But for the present industry and transport are heavily reliant on petroleum fuels,” Mr Sewell said.
“Both the State and Federal Government have been complicit in a weak response to this important issue, which will see yet another piece of critical infrastructure disappear from Western Australia’s industrial capacity. This will severely weaken the Western Australian economy. The WAxit Party is committed to Western Australia becoming self-reliant to the greatest possible extent in providing for essential needs”, Mr Sewell said.