Parliament committee won't push for higher biofuels mandate

The Dalby Bio-Refinery is only operating at 40% capacity.
The Dalby Bio-Refinery is only operating at 40% capacity. Will Hunter

ALTHOUGH a parliamentary committee has admitted a 2% biofuel mandate is unlikely to boost the industry, it has not suggested an increase.

AgForce and an MP have questioned the committee's reasoning behind the recommendation in a report tabled to Queensland Parliament on November 17.

AgForce grains president Wayne Newton said it clashed with the mandate's main goal.

"The main purpose is to promote regional development in Queensland," he said.

But Mr Newton said 2% was only slightly higher than current production and would not generate any extra jobs or investment in regional areas.

The Dalby Bio-Refinery is only operating at 40% capacity, Katter's Australian Party Mt Isa MP Robbie Katter said.

Mr Katter said Queensland's existing production capacity was more than 4%.

His party is advocating for a 5% mandate.

Mr Newton said with such a low mandate the government was risking the confidence of proponents who would be willing to spend millions of dollars.

He said the US was an example of the power of biofuels to boost regional communities.

Mr Newton suggested the government clearly map their plan for the future, with deadlines set for goals for the mandate levels.

Last week the government released a biofuels consultation paper about incremental increases to the mandate.

Although the committee did not push for a higher initial mandate, it suggested the figure should be increased as soon as practicable.

"While the committee does not recommend that the level of the initial bio-based petrol mandate of 2% be increased, it is concerned that the initial mandate is unlikely to encourage additional investment in the Queensland's biofuel industry," the report said.

The committee unanimously agreed the bill should be passed with bipartisan support.


Topics:  biofuels ethanol

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