Dametto Introduces Biofuel Bill
13 October 2022
Cheaper fuel, lower emissions, enhancing Australia’s fuel security and underpinning industry would be just some of the benefits of the Katter’s Australian Party’s Liquid Fuel Supply (Minimum Biobased Petrol Content) Amendment Bill 2022 according to Deputy Leader of the KAP and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto.
The Private Members Bill, which was introduced into Parliament today, aims to build upon the neglected biofuel industry in Queensland.
The Bill seeks to increase the penalties for fuel retailers who fail to comply with the State’s four per cent bio-based petrol mandate, which has been in operation since 2017 but has never been reached.
It also proposes for the first time that a minimum quantity of ethanol (nine per cent) be present in E10 fuels, in order to give customers assurance of what they’re putting in their tanks.
“For too long the Government has pretended to support the biofuels industry, but their unpoliced bio-based petrol mandate has done very little to enhance the use of ethanol in Queensland and has done even less to create confidence in the market,” Mr Dametto said.
“This Bill seeks to push the Government to enforce Queensland’s ethanol mandate, with increased fines for fuel retailers who don’t comply and finally enshrining in legislation that fuel retailers must have at least 9 per cent ethanol in what they are marketing and selling as E10.”
The Hinchinbrook MP said stronger legislation was needed to underpin Queensland’s biofuels industry.
“Ethanol presents a huge opportunity for the Queensland economy. As Australia seeks to reduce emissions, the demand for biofuels will increase and Queensland’s sugar industry is positioned well to capitalise on this,” Mr Dametto said.
“I proudly represent the second largest sugarcane growing region in Australia, cane famers and millers both agree that the biofuel industry has the potential to add an additional revenue stream when global sugar prices are down.
“Ethanol has been used in Australia and around the world for decades, it is a clean, ‘green’ fuel that almost all modern unleaded vehicles can run.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers, Peter Blanchard said he supported the KAP’s Bill, with the benefits including, but not limited to fuel security for Australia, the creation of jobs (especially rural), the utilisation of excess or damaged Australian crops, benefits to the environment and financial benefit to the general public through the availability of cheaper fuel.
“If the mandate was fully implemented, we would need to increase production of ethanol which would create a wealth of new jobs and further employment opportunities throughout the rural sector, fuel distribution and retailing,” Mr Blanchard said
He said there was a misconception that ethanol blended fuels caused harm to people’s vehicles.
“The negative publicity that surrounds ethanol products originated back when they were first allowed to be sold as a fuel blend in Australia, when many cars were not compliant with E10, today the majority of unleaded vehicles supplied to Australia are E10 compliant, even our hybrid engines,” he said.
“By this legislation setting a floor percentage of nine (9) per cent, it will ensure the consumer is getting what they have purchased and will mean there is less negative publicity around ethanol sales.”
Mr Dametto said the Bill was common sense legislation, which would enhance biofuel usage and production and drive down vehicle emissions.
“Just five years ago ethanol was the key Government buzzword when it came to renewables, but today as the Palaszczuk Government ramps up their battle to power Queensland with 70 per cent renewables by 2032, it seems like they have thrown out the biofuels baby with the bathwater,” he said.
“It’s been proven that 10 per cent ethanol blended fuels can cut tailpipe emissions by around 28 per cent, if every unleaded vehicle transitioned to E10 tomorrow that would be like effectively removing 28 per cent of unleaded vehicles from our roads.
“Increasing the demand and subsequently producing greater volumes of biofuelwill drive down the price of ethanol, meaning a cheaper bowser price.
“Boosting the use of ethanol supports regional development and regional jobs. Locally produced ethanol could improve Australia’s energy security by reducing dependency on imported oil and refined fuels.”
Mr Dametto said he had worked extensively with stakeholders and had already gained regional and industry support.
He welcomed submissions as the Bill passes through the committee process.