For many Australians the Federal government's plans to spend $211 million building some very large fuel tanks, and on subsidies for local oil refineries, will mean very little. It sounds like just one more infrastructure building, job creating, project being rolled out as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery plan.
On the other hand another, much smaller, group of leaders in defence and fuel dependent sectors and industries will be very happy indeed. That is because a long term deficiency in Australia's preparations for catastrophes such as international terrorism and even the outbreak of war, is being addressed.
The $211 million spend, to be formalised in the forthcoming budget, will begin moving this country towards compliance with its international fuel security obligations, as set out by the International Energy Agency, for the first time in many years.
Established in the wake of the OPEC oil embargoes in the 1970s that nearly bought many nations across the developed world to their knees, the IEA requires its members - of which Australia has long been one - to maintain strategic petroleum reserves of at least 90 days worth of fuel.
In mid-2019, when world oil prices spiked following attacks, blamed by the US on Iran, on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Australia held just 55 days of fuel. This was an alarming vulnerability given the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index ranked us 15th out of 25 countries in fuel security, and last in the region on our trade balance in refined fuels.
That meant if last year's incident had escalated, and the flow of oil had been turned off for an extended period, this country, even with extreme rationing, would have been hard pressed to keep its economy running for two or three months.
Semitrailers would have stopped running, supermarket shelves would have been bare, ships - including naval vessels - would not have been able to put to sea and planes - including RAAF aircraft - would not have been able to fly.
Or, as Senator Jim Molan told The Financial Review: "There is no point in having 12 fantastic submarines and 75 F35s if you've got no bloody fuel for them... The latest attack emphasises the need for us to take liquid fuels resilience seriously".
The economic disruption caused by COVID-19 - itself a foreseeable catastrophe for which the nation was insufficiently prepared - would pale in comparison to what would ever happen if Australia's tanks were allowed to run dry.
On the upside, even before the events in the Gulf of Oman in 2019, steps were being taken to address the problem though a Fuel Security Review which, in turn, led to Monday's announcements.
The Prime Minister's observation that Australia "had been fortunate to not have experienced a significant fuel supply shock in on over 40 years" was a masterpiece of understatement.
It is hard to deny that the world has suddenly become a much more dynamic and challenging place than it has been for decades.
Events that were once unthinkable are now, even if not probable, certainly a lot more possible than they were until very recently. In such an environment an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
As the Prime Minister said: "Fuel security underpins our entire economy... the events of 2020 have reminded us we cannot be complacent. We need a sovereign fuel supply to shield us from potential shocks in the future".
When you look at it that way $221 million may turn out to be a very cheap insurance policy indeed.