BIOFUELS BOOSTING BILL EDGES CLOSER
24 March 2023
Katter’s Australian Party’s Liquid Fuel Supply (Minimum Biobased Petrol Content) Amendment Bill 2022 has progressed to the final stages of committee review with KAP Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto attending the final public hearing for the bill in Brisbane recently.
Mr Dametto introduced the bill in October 2022 which aims to rectify shortfalls in Queensland’s neglected biofuel industry. The Bill seeks to legislate that a minimum quantity of ethanol (nine per cent) be present in E10 fuels, to assure customers that what they’re putting in their tanks contains at least nine per cent ethanol.
Mr Dametto said that furthermore, the bill proposes to increase penalties for major fuel retailers that fail to comply with the State’s four per cent bio-based petrol mandate.
“The mandate imposes a requirement on larger fuel sellers to meet a sales target for biobased petrol of four per cent of the total sales of regular unleaded and regular petrol blends, such as E10. That requirement has never been met.
“Submissions were made to the committee that expressed concern for smaller fuel retailers and the consequences of increased fines and I was thankful for the opportunity at the recent public hearing, to respond to submissions and clarify the intended objectives of the bill.
“Under the current legislation, fuel retailers who own or operate less than ten standard service stations or sell less than 500,000 litres of petrol per quarter, are automatically exempt from penalty for not reaching the mandated target and that will not change with the current bill.
“Larger fuel retailers who are not automatically exempt will still be eligible to apply for exemptions in certain circumstances. It is acknowledged and recognised in the existing legislation that many challenges and financial costs are associated with making the necessary infrastructure upgrades to boost E10 selling capacity.
“I want to make it clear that the bill aims to target those fuel retailers who are blatantly non-compliant.
“If we are going to move towards cleaner and greener fuel options, or transition to electric or hydrogen vehicles, I believe the department needs the correct tools that will allow them to administer fines to deter certain people from working grossly outside the set criteria.”
The committee will publish a final report on the bill on 13 April 2023.
The transcript from the public hearing on 13 March 2023 is available HERE.