The Fuel will keep flowing in Lorne in the short term, with BP announcing it will keep its service station in the town open for another three months.
BP was to shut the site on Mountjoy Parade – the town’s only petrol station – on Monday this week after a 30-day notice period had expired, but reversed its decision late last week.
Corangamite federal member Sarah Henderson, who has heavily criticised BP over the issue, said she was delighted the people of She said BP would now enter into good faith negotiations with Riordan Fuels (the site’s head lessee) between now and Thursday May 19.
“Importantly, BP has also overturned a ban against Riordan Fuels which prevented it from accessing the site in order to conduct environmental tests.
“In a discussion with BP’s vice-president of sales and marketing Australia, Michael McGuiness, BP apologised for its conduct and conceded that its decision to shut down the service station with just 30 days’ notice and block Riordan Fuels from accessing the site was an error of judgment.”
On Monday, a BP spokesperson said the company believed its decision was “a good result for all parties involved”.
“It will ensure continued fuel supply at the site and allow for transition activities to take place, including working through remaining commercial matters.”
Ms Henderson said the reversal was “a wonderful example of people power at work”.
“I was extremely proud on behalf and other Great Ocean Road communities to speak out in Parliament earlier this week about BP’s conduct, which impacted communities.”
Ms Henderson referred the issue to Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer last week, who raised it with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
She said she would also bring the matter before Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell.
“I am hopeful a just and fair outcome can be fuel supply.