Australia's oil refining industry - Importance, threats and emergency response

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Centre for Security Research, Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Engineering / Centre for Security Research




East, A., Bailey, B. (2008). Australia's oil refining industry - Importance, threats and emergency response. In the Proceedings of the 1st Australian Security and Intelligence Conference. ( pp. 37 - 43) Perth, Australia: Centre for Security Research, Edith Cowan University.


Australia is heavily reliant on down-stream, or refined oil products for daily life and industrial purposes. The industry faces a range of threats and risk factors all of which have the capability to inflict significant damage. A major disruption to Australia's oil refining industry would have major consequences not only for the industry but on society and the economy as a whole. By assessing Australia's reliance on oil products, as well as considering the impact of major disruption to oil refining capabilities internationally, this paper seeks to assess the impact that such an event would have on Australian society, public and private industry and the economy. In the Australian context the industry is not adequately prepared to respond to, or recover from major disaster or disruption. There are a range of international strategies and policies which will be assessed in order to further prepare the Australian industry for a range of potential disasters. This paper uses the Kwinana oil refinery in Western Australia as a case study for considering potential threats, consequences and recovery strategies related to a major oil refinery disruption or disaster.

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