ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
FRIDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2020
SUBJECTS: BP Kwinana Refinery closure; Chris Hayes.
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: Thank you for joining me. Scott Morrison must immediately intervene to stop BP closing at Kwinana Refinery. This is about more than 500 jobs. But it’s about much more than that as well. It’s about Australia’s fuel security. It is about Australia’s defence interests, about the interests that we have in the mining sector. If this refinery is allowed to close, and simply become an import facility, what that will mean is that the west coast of Australia will have no fuel security. The west coast is particularly important. It is, in terms of an export hub for Australia, so critical for our resources sector. And the idea that we will just sit back and allow this to happen, is, quite frankly, untenable. It’s also quite outrageous that there was no consultation with the workers at the refinery or the union movement. My heart goes out to those workers, many of whom have worked there for a long time, for getting this devastating news. And that’s why Scott Morrison must intervene. Six weeks ago, he made a grand announcement about having a plan for fuel here in Australia. Well, six weeks later, that plan is looking pretty non-existent. If we lose that west coast refinery, then we’ll be down to just three refineries for an island continent. An island continent that is absolutely dependent upon fuel for our national security. Our defence interests in WA are particularly important, our naval interests, our interests in terms of the Air Force. And the idea that the west coast of Australia will have no fuel refinery capacity is simply untenable. And that’s why Scott Morrison needs to do more than say he’s disappointed, he needs to fix this and show leadership in the national interest.
I might just give you something on Chris Hayes. I was very pleased this afternoon to speak to Chris and Bernadette Hayes. Chris Hayes, of course, had a medical event yesterday while speaking in the Federal Parliament. Chris has now been allowed to leave hospital. There’ll be further tests and procedures in the future, but he’s in good spirits. And he wished to pass on his thanks for all of the well wishes that he’s received, not just from his colleagues and people who work in the Parliament, but people from his electorate, and indeed people throughout the country wishing him well. Thanks.