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Why the closure of ExxonMobil’s Altona refinery is cause for concern

Article image for Why the closure of ExxonMobil’s Altona refinery is cause for concern

RUMOUR CONFIRMED

Australia’s oil refining sector has been dealt another blow, with one of Australia’s three remaining oil refineries set to shut.

ExxonMobil announced the closure of its 72-year-old Altona refinery today.

It leaves only two refineries operational in Australia — one in Geelong and another in Queensland.

National secretary of the United Workers Union, Tim Kennedy, says it’s a blow for the Victorian economy.

“Our finished product, our jet fuel, our diesel, our petrol — it will be imported,” he told Ross and Russel.

“We’ve just lived through a hard last year in the pandemic and what we learnt as Australians is we need to be able to make things ourselves.

“We need to be able to support ourselves when supply chains can be easily disrupted.”

Mr Kennedy said the closure of the refinery will make it more difficult for Australia to transition to alternate energy sources.

“We have … a lack of a plan about advanced manufacturing, about a transition to the new energy sources we’ll need in the future, those skills all exist down at this plant and they are being thrown to the curb. It’s a major lost opportunity for Australia,” he said.

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Victorian branch secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Tony Mavromatis, says the closure could lead to fuel shortages, and drive up prices.

“One would think we’ll be scarce for fuel supplies,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“One would have to think when you’re importing things it may cost you a little bit more.

“We’re asleep at the wheel.”

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Image: Google Maps

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