WIMMERA farmers are confident of adequate fuel supplies for the region’s predicted bumper grain harvest.
Farmer leaders are relaxed about the situation, despite tightening supplies across south-eastern Australia.
VicRoads inspectors took 80 Cootes trucks off the road last week, following a mass audit of the company’s fleet.
The shortage of fuel tankers is having an impact on fuel supplies in Victoria, South Australia, NSW and south-eastern Queensland.
Victorian Farmers Federation president Ross Johns of Warracknabeal said he had not heard of any farmers affected by the shortage so far.
“I know there are issues across the state but I think a shortage will be averted, as long as there are enough supplies and enough deliveries to meet requirements,” he said.
“Most farmers would have reasonable stocks of fuel on their farms and would have the capacity to operate
“As long as people don’t panic and take it as it comes.”
He said he believed the situation would be fixed before harvest.
“Harvest is still a few weeks away and should start in the northern Wimmera about the middle of November,” he said.
“It should be right by then – let’s hope for the best.”
A spokesman for Scott’s Petroleum in Horsham said their LPG was delivered by Cootes.
“We have fuel in the way of petrol but we have been running out of gas,” he said.
“We get our petrol from Scott’s so we are all right at the moment.”
He said the shortage had not had much effect on customers.
“We have the odd one coming in and there is still a bit of gas at our other store,” he said.
He said the store was expecting a delivery today.
Fuel distributor Rob Riordan, who is based in Geelong and supplies to the Wimmera and Mallee, said the shortage was not affecting fuel deliveries to the region.
“There is just a shortage of trucks, but we’ve got enough of our own tankers,” he said.
“There is still plenty of fuel available, it’s just a matter of getting it to the sites.
“If anything it has made us busier.”
Shell spokesman Paul Zennaro said customers could see temporary periods of fuel unavailability at a small number of Shell service stations.
“Periods of fuel unavailability might be longer at smaller Shell service stations so that deliveries can be prioritised to larger service stations experiencing high demand,” he said.
“The company is working to safely restore normal fuel availability to every station.”