BALLARAT motorists were forced to be patient at the fuel pump at the weekend.
A diesel shortage in Victoria has left cars queueing at petrol stations with some waiting more than half-an-hour to fill up in Ballarat. The shortage, which struck during a period of peak demand, is expected to last at least until mid this week.
Severe storms shut down diesel refineries last week, exacerbating the usual December strain caused by high demand from motorists and in the agricultural and transport sectors.
Service stations across Melbourne and regional areas ran out of the fuel on Saturday and yesterday, with suppliers rationing some retailers to half their usual deliveries.
nience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) chief executive Nic Moulis yesterday said the shortage would likely run for at least two more days.
“We are hoping that some fuel cargo presently on the water makes it into Victoria early in the week, and also that the refineries start to come back to full capacity,” Mr Moulis said.
Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey said the shortage had struck during harvest season, creating some major problems.
“It’s been pretty serious, because there’s been no diesel available in Bendigo, Elmore, Echuca, Charlton, Swan Hill, so it’s been rationed out and farmers are only able to get small supplies, if any,” he said.
“You don’t want to stop working at this time of the year, because you don’t know when the weather will change.”