Biofuels market a missed opportunity: Dametto

8th July 2022

State Member for Hinchinbrook and KAP Deputy Leader, Nick Dametto.

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto has taken aim at the Palaszczuk Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy[1], instead calling on the Government to get serious about developing a Queensland biofuels industry.

In March this year the State Government released its Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy, which included a target of 50 per cent of new passenger vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2036.

The Hinchinbrook MP said the State Labor Government’s $3000 EV rebate, which became available on July 1 is available for those looking to purchase an electric vehicle with a dutiable price of less than $58,000. He claimed the EV rebate didn’t consider the needs of rural Queenslanders and the financial pressures Queenslanders were currently facing.

“At a time where we’re all concerned with the cost of living, the State is trying to incentivise people to buy EV’s, but this latest sleight of hand does more than that. Cheekily they have come up with a policy to trick Queenslanders into thinking they have found a way for combat the rising fuel prices while looking green,” Mr Dametto said.

“The truth is, Queenslanders are doing it tough, and we know that during harder times people tend to hold onto things like vehicles a little longer, the average Queenslander doesn’t have the disposable income right now to spend on a new EV.

Mr Dametto said real opportunities were being missed as the Government support stagnated on a biofuels industry in Queensland.

“In the last decade biofuels, notably ethanol was the buzzword of renewables, and despite voting in the ethanol and biodiesel mandate in 2015, the Government have given it almost no oxygen since,” Mr Dametto said.

“This Government has failed to create the rigor necessary to sure up a Queensland biofuels industry costing the state an untold amount of jobs and economic opportunity for our region.

“A number of proposed biofuels plants which include Hinchinbrook’s North Queensland Bio Energy Project, Pentland Bio Energy[2] and in the Burdekin’s Auscane-energy[3] remain on ice due to the State Government failing to do what is needed to build biofuels market capacity.”

The Hinchinbrook MP said in Queensland, the failure of the Palaszczuk Labor Government to ensure multi-national oil companies and major fuel retailers were complying with the State’s four per cent ethanol mandate was part of the problem.

“Millers and growers throughout the north, have invested heavily in business cases and plans to produce biofuels, but without the necessary support from government to sure up the industry none of these projects have seen fruition because of a lack of viability,” he said.

“The State has the responsibility to ensure that Queenslanders have access to clean, inexpensive fuel options and sending consumers out to buy a new EV isn’t going to fix the problem that is crippling household budgets in the hear and now, ethanol produced in volume has the ability to reduce tail pipe emissions and make fuel affordable for today’s road users.”

Mr Dametto is currently preparing a Private Member’s Bill, that will address issues with the current mandate.

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[2] Pentland Bioenergy Project – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

[3] BURDEKIN PLANT | austcane-energy

Nick Dametto MP