Daniel Andrews must act now to save 700 jobs and protect our fuel supply

Today, the oil refinery that provides more than half of Victoria’s petrol has announced it may close unless the Andrews Labor Government either loosens its draconian Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions or provides a clear and workable plan to get industry to the other side of this pandemic.

In a press release issued by Viva Energy Australia, the company stated:

“... the restrictions on mobility and the economy are putting extreme pressures on the Refining business that we have not experienced before and are not sustainable over the longer term.”

The company noted that if Daniel Andrews eased restrictions, the refinery could return to full production by November 2020, just two months away.

This oil refinery is one of only four in Australia and provides more than 50 per cent of Victorian fuel.

Currently, Daniel Andrews’ COVID-19 restriction has put it in an impossible economic position.

It ran at a $50 million loss in the first half of the year because Labor’s lockdown drastically restricted movement, meaning a decreased demand for transport fuels.

For the sake of the long-term security of Victoria’s petrol supplies, the Andrews Labor Government must talk to this sector or face a Victoria without a secure petrol supply.

Worse still, 700 Victorians will be left without a job. This would add to the growing number of hardworking people who have already lost their jobs because of Daniel Andrews’ failed COVID-19 response.

The problem with this Premier’s myopic fixation on COVID-19 is that he fails to see the unintended consequences of his obsessive policies.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Resources, Ryan Smith:

“Daniel Andrews must immediately either loosen his lockdown restrictions for industry or provide economic support to the Geelong oil refinery, to save 700 jobs put at risk by his bungled COVID-19 response.

"Daniel Andrews has never run a business or had a single real job outside of politics.

"Daniel Andrews does not understand the pain caused by businesses being forced to close or the agony of the hundreds of thousands of Victorians left out of a job due to his policies."

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