Work to resume at Geelong Refinery

Viva Energy Australia (“Viva Energy”) confirmed that the unlawful blockade at the Geelong Refinery, which started seven days ago, would end today allowing employees and contractors to return to work on a critical $100million maintenance project.

Geelong Refinery General Manager, Thys Heyns, said the unlawful action had the potential to seriously impact Victoria’s fuel supplies.

“Following an urgent hearing mediated by the Fair Work Commission, the unions have recommended to end the blockade to allow employees and contractors to return to work,” said Mr Heyns.

“While we are very proud of our safety record, we have agreed to conduct a review of our safety systems and practices relating to the maintenance project. This will be conducted under the auspices of WorkSafe Victoria as continuous improvement is part of our safety culture,” he said.

“As a major hazardous facility licenced by WorkSafe we already operate under a strict safety regime that is regularly audited by independent third parties.

“I would like to thank employees, customers and members of the community who supported us through this challenging and uncertain period for the business.

“We are committed to securing a sustainable future for the refinery and the hundreds of workers who depend on that outcome.”

Geelong Refinery is one of only four remaining refineries in Australia. Built in 1954, it has been an integral part of the Geelong region for more than 60 years and injects more than $200 million in wages and services into the local economy each year. Viva Energy is spending $350million transforming the refinery into an efficient, internationally competitive operation. 

Geelong Refinery offers a range of skilled careers for both employees and long term contractors. It provides intensive training, apprenticeship opportunities and excellent employment conditions.