On The Land

2 April, 2022

Katter calls for ethanol

SOARING fuel prices have shone a spotlight on the what has been described as a missed opportunity to establish a proper biofuels and bioenergy industry in Queensland through the sugar and grains industries.

Katter calls for ethanol - feature photo

Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and Member for Hill Shane Knuth say the State and Federal governments have not taken advantage of the opportunity to invest in the biofuels industry, especially ethanol. 

The pair recently stopped by at the Tableland Sugar Mill at Arriga, which already produces 24 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 26,280 homes – by converting 100 per cent renewable sugarcane fibre, known as bagasse, into green energy. 

Mr Knuth and Mr Katter are again calling on both levels of Government to invest and legislate for the biofuels industry especially ethanol, as North Queensland currently only has one ethanol plant at Sarina. 

Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto has announced his intention to strengthen Queensland’s ethanol mandate laws with an Amendment Bill. 

“For years the Katter Australia Party (KAP) has been pushing for Australia to be self-sufficient with sourcing ethanol and biofuels and we cannot afford to keep delaying this at the expense of motorists,” Mr Knuth said. 

“A number of years ago, KAP pushed and delivered on the fuel mandate in Queensland which stated that at least 4 per cent of all fuel sold in Queensland needed to be ethanol (E10), but it is no surprise that the Government is not holding oil and fuel companies to account to deliver this. 

“Not one fi ne has been issued since this legislation was introduced.” 

Mr Knuth says he is aware of farmers who make and produce their own diesel to run their own machinery. 

“This is a great example as to why the government needs to invest in Australian-made renewable fuel sourced from sugar, grain and algae,” he said. 

“The economic benefits of this would be astronomical for communities with more affordable fuel prices, more income for farmers, and local jobs.” 

Mr Katter said a nationwide biofuels mandate was one of the four solutions he has been pushing through his proposed Sovereign Fuel Security Bill. 

The other measures included waste-to-diesel technology, Australian- made EVs for metropolitan based public servants, and a ban on the export of Australia’s indigenous oil supply which will boost the nation’s domestic refining capacity. 

“If China embargoes our fuel that is mostly supplied out of Singapore and South Korea, then we will have no fuel and see massive queues at every petrol station in Australia,” he said. 

“Farmers are paying 100 per cent increases on two major cost input items – fuel and fertiliser. Electricity has also gone up 300 per cent. You just can’t keep farming under these conditions. We must bring down fuel and fertiliser costs if farmers are to survive.”


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