THE Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has again drawn attention to "the Morrison Government’s stubborn refusal to act on fuel security after years of warnings" with new figures showing Australia now has just 22 days of petrol and 17 days of diesel at its disposal.

MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin said Australia had been non-compliant with the International Energy Agency’s 90-day fuel stockholding obligation since March 2012 and "the Morrison Government has since ignored several key reports".

"For example, a National Energy Security Assessment was announced last April," Mr Crumlin said. "It was sparked by concerns over declining domestic production, diminishing refining capacity and concerns over potential flashpoints in the Middle East, South China Sea and Korean Peninsula.

"However, nothing has been done since then and a report in today’s Australian newspaper said the new figures have again sparked warnings from Coalition MPs and security experts that the nation is dangerously exposed if a major geopolitical upheaval disrupts existing supply routes."

The newspaper reported experts had also criticised a government move to spend more than $20 million buying supplies held offshore to bolster the national reserve, saying the move will do little to boost the resilience of the domestic fuel stockpile.

Mr Crumlin said a number of inquiries and reports in recent years had focused on the important issue of fuel security, including the MUA’s report titled Australia’s Fuel Security – Running on Empty in December last year, written by shipping expert John Francis.

“The Senate has held inquiries into both fuel security and tax avoiding flag-of-convenience shipping, while the Energy White Paper and Defence White Paper also investigated our increasing reliance on foreign fuel,” Mr Crumlin said.

“It’s doubling up on the government's initial policy negligence in allowing Australia to lose its refinery capacity of oil we own and is sourced in our country, and then allow tax avoidance and dodgy shipping governance to replace our domestic shipping capacity. No one has been at the wheel of energy security in Canberra for a very long time. It’s a joke with very few laughs for Australian jobs, economic independence and long term planning.

“In addition, the Running on Empty report found that Australia now relies on the equivalent of almost 60 full-time fuel import tankers to keep us supplied with petrol, diesel and jet fuel, which is now all carried on the international spot market, mainly from Korea, Singapore and Japan. 

“The report found Australia’s reliance on foreign flagged tankers removes any opportunity for the Commonwealth to be able to requisition national flag tankers if necessary to secure minimum import or coastal distribution requirements following major economic or geopolitical disruptions.

“The cost of addressing this risk is comparatively low: even carrying Australia’s entire import volume on a fleet of Australian tankers would cost less than one extra cent per litre.

“The Australian Government needs support as a matter of urgency a number of Australian tankers as part of a national strategic fleet to ensure that some level of supplies can be maintained in the event of a crisis.”

Mr Crumlin said there are now no Australian-crewed tankers supplying fuel to our nation, down from 12 in the year 2000. At the same time, the number of refineries has halved to four. This means Australia now imports more than 90 percent of its fuel and that number is rising.

“Australians would expect our government to have a better plan and this would involve more refining here and Australian-crewed ships to carry it around the coast,” Mr Crumlin said.

“This isn’t only a matter of fuel security but also national security. Unlike Australian seafarers, foreign crews have no background checks yet they are carrying petroleum products, ammonium nitrate and LNG around the Australian coast.”



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THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is urging jobseekers on the hunt for a new career in 2019 to consider the lucrative options in the resources sector.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Queensland resources sector had been one of the state’s most important job creators in 2018, creating new opportunities especially in regional areas.

“The new year is a time when many people reflect on their career. Anyone looking for a well-paid, rewarding and long-term job in 2019 need look no further than the resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The opportunities are there for the taking. There are currently about 800 vacancies in the energy and resources sector advertised online.

“Those jobs are spread right across our state, from the far north, to the west, to the south east corner.

“Many of the jobs are in our regional communities like Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba, meaning there’s opportunities for people who want a rewarding career closer to their home town.

“We want to continue to deliver the benefits that power our state and put money in the bank for all Queenslanders. To do that, the resources sector needs more workers with all types of skills.

“The Queensland resources sector is a consistent performer for the state’s economy. The most recent ABS figures showed that for the November quarter, resources jobs were up 20 percent on the previous year.

“Continued investment in new resources projects and new exploration will be essential to help Queensland bring down its unemployment rate, which is currently the second highest in Australia.

“The resources sector will keep doing the heavy lifting for the Queensland economy, and will continue to deliver for all Queenslanders through $5 billion in royalty taxes and through regional investment.

“We look forward to welcoming new workers in the resources sector in 2019.”


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THE Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is pleased to announce its recent partnership with the Hair and Beauty Industry Association (HBIA).

The alliance between the two associations has commenced to strengthen the relationship between the retail, and hair and beauty services sectors.

With operations spanning over 85 years, the HBIA is the peak consultative body for the hairdressing and beauty industry. Representing a $5 billion-dollar sector that employs over 84,871 specialists across the country, the HBIA advocates on behalf of members at State and Federal Government levels and the association is a major supporter of training boards.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA, said the affiliation between the two associations would lead to many prosperous ventures for their respective memberships and assist in propelling both industries into the future.

“This is an exciting opportunity for both the ARA and the HBIA to enhance support for all members and add further value to the current services provided to ARA and  HBIA members,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“As the ARA is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion-dollar sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people, we believe this partnership will be highly beneficial for both ARA and HBIA members and will lead both associations into new and exciting areas.”

The partnership will bring together both associations to provide HBIA members with enhanced information on employment law and compliance, as well as providing additional training and support for members with dedicated HBIA advice hotlines, member e-newsletters, and online resources including fact sheets and wage rates.

Andrew Woodward, president of the HBIA, believes this affiliation with the ARA will assist the association in amplifying the industry’s voice, as they continue to advocate on issues that affect HBIA members.

“The partnership between the HBIA and the ARA will ensure that the HBIA has a stronger voice and lobbying ability with government on the matters that are of importance to the industry,” Mr Woodward said. 

“This new relationship will provide HBIA members with greater resources, services and value for their membership spend. The additional benefits which are now available to HBIA members are simply not available elsewhere.”

The HBIA currently offers a range of seminars and workshops that focus on key industry issues from training to employment matters. The HBIA will continue to play a pivotal role in handling training providers, product companies, salon operators, government bodies and the union to ensure the interests of the industry remain at the forefront of all negotiations.

“The partnership between the ARA and the HBIA will exist to advance the hair and beauty industry by advocating and lobbying on behalf of members, and encouraging additional provisions where required,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The ARA will continue to be a proactive supporter of Australian retail through ensuring retail success by informing, protecting and educating our members. The ARA welcomes the HBIA and its members and looks forward to seeing what’s in store for the future.”

About the Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association, representing the country’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As Australia’s leading retail peak industry body, the ARA is a strong pro-active advocate for Australian retail and works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.


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THE Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and the Queensland Mining and Energy Division of the CFMEU have made a joint submission to reject a Greens’ bill to ban coal mining in the Galilee Basin.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition Bill) in the Federal Senate would cost jobs and would fail to have any impact on global demand for thermal coal.

“This Bill doesn’t stack up. It would be little more than an act of self-sabotage which would cost Queenslanders their jobs for no reason and for no reduction in the global use of coal,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The global demand for coal is strong, and coal is forecast to remain at about 40 percent of total power generation in the Asia Pacific by the year 2040 under a scenario modelled by the International Energy Agency.

“If the Greens’ bid to ban coal in Queensland was successful that would simply mean the demand for coal would be met from other countries with lower quality coal, which would in turn lead to higher emissions.

“At the same time, a ban on coal mines in the Galilee Basin would come at the loss of an enormous economic opportunity for Central and North Queensland.

“Figures from the Office of the Chief Economist in Canberra show that if the six major coal projects in the Galilee Basin were to proceed that would support 18,275 jobs in construction.

“On top of that QRC estimates that even if just a quarter of the coal capacity in the Galilee was developed that would add up to $290 million in royalty taxes paid to the Queensland Government each year.

“The Queensland resources industry is responsible and advanced and makes best use of planning and technology to ensure long-term sustainability for the environment.

“The Greens’ Bill wants Queenslanders to give up our jobs and to give up on the economic prosperity of our state.

“This sort of anti-mining and anti-jobs talk is not surprising from the Greens. But the Queensland Resources Council is calling on both the Coalition and the ALP to clearly reject this Bill.”

CLICK HERE for the QRC/CFMEU submission.


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AS THE RETAIL industry sets its sights on the biggest trading day of the year, retailers across the country are anticipating a sizable trade this Boxing Day, with the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) predicting Australians to spend $2.5 billion over a mere 24 hours. 

With the ARA and Roy Morgan forecasting consumers to spend a total of $18.3 billion nationwide from December 26, 2018 to January 15, 2019, Boxing Day marks the beginning of the traditional post-Christmas sales period.

Russell Zimmerman, executive director of the ARA, said that while pre-Christmas sales provide a substantial boost to retailers, Boxing Day is a monumental event in the retail industry, with online and physical outlets preparing for this day in the months leading up to the festive season.

“The ARA and Roy Morgan’s combined annual research forecasted a 3.1 percent increase in post-Christmas sales and as Boxing Day signifies the commencement of the post-Christmas trading period, retailers across Australia are eager to welcome the day with open doors,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Preceding our post-Christmas findings with Roy Morgan, the ARA’s analytics team have estimated Aussie shoppers will spend in excess of $2.5 billion this Boxing Day both in-store and online.”

With the South Australian (SA) Government finally legislating Boxing Day trade across all parts of the state, the ARA suspect SA retailers will notice an exponential growth in sales on the biggest trading day of the year.

“As a result of the newly-deregulated trading hours in SA, we predict South Australians to spend roughly $133 million, while front-runners New South Wales are projected to spend around $790 million on Boxing Day,” Mr Zimmerman said. 

“With retail trade expected to reach its peak on this day, bricks-and-mortar retailers should prepare their stores to accommodate for the extraordinary increase in foot-traffic. Likewise, online retailers should ensure their e-commerce and social platforms have the capacity to handle the 24-hour mayhem that arises through the influx in website traffic.”

As global and digital competitors continue to alter the local retail landscape, consumer preferences have changed drastically, turning to online platforms for convenience, leading savvy local retailers to modify their operations to compete in the market.

“While online customers will be rushing to add items to their shopping carts, physical retailers will be experiencing a high volume of customers dashing to the registers. In response to this, local retailers have equipped their stores with trained staff who will be delighted to assist customers to finalise their purchases,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Importantly, consumers need to remember to be patient and co-operative with retail staff during this busy time, because at the end of the day retail workers are people too. Staff in retail stores are there to help and should not be made the target of bullying, abuse or harassment.

“With Boxing Day recognised as the biggest day of the year for retail discounts, sales will continue to thrive following December 26 and seep into the New Year, offering shoppers the perfect opportunity to secure a bargain.”

ARA Boxing Day 2018 sales predictions

December 26, 2018

Boxing Day 2018 Sales



2018 Boxing Day Sales Predictions








































*Figures may not sum due to rounding*

ARA Roy Morgan Post-Christmas Sales Predictions

December 26 2018 - January 15 2018


2018 Post-Christmas Sales Growth by Category


2017 Post-Christmas actual results ($mil)

2018 Post-Christmas sales forecast ($mil)

Predicted Growth































2018 Post-Christmas Sales Growth by State


2017 Post-Christmas actual results ($mil)

2018 Post-Christmas sales forecast ($mil)

Predicted Growth







































About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.


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