Developing ethanol and other Bio fuels in Australia isn’t just essential for jobs and industry, it’s also essential for fuel security according to KAP state members Rob Katter and Shane Knuth.
“For a country as isolated as Australia our lack of capacity to produce our own fuel and limited supply is an area of great concern,” Mr Katter said at the Townsville Ethanol forum.
According to a fuel security study undertaken by the NRMA in 2014 Australia has only 22 days’ worth of liquid fuel reserves for industry if supplies were cut.
A significantly low supply compared to the industry liquid fuel stocks of 98 days United States and 220 in the UK.
Without intervention by 2030 NRMA suggest that Australia will have less than 20 days fuel stock, no refineries and therefore 100% dependency on oil/fuel imports.
“With a strong mandate we have the potential to create our own self sufficient industry,” Mr Katter said.
“Since 2000, this dependence on imported fuel and oil for transport has grown from around 60% to over 90% of transport fuel demand”.
KAP believes replacing imported petroleum with home grown ethanol is essential for Australia.
“If you aren’t just supporting ethanol for the environment, health or industry support it for national security,” Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said.
“All we are asking for is very simple, we want a portion of the $23 billion that is spent on imported petroleum to instead be spent here on our own product developing our communities.”
“A bio-fuels policy means jobs, clean air and the opportunity to produce our own fuel,” he said.
The Qld Government is proposing a 2% mandate on ethanol by 2016, however the KAP position is that this is not enough.
Mr Knuth believes starting at a 5% mandate will deliver the benefits of ethanol.
“5% will bring the investment that is required for these changes,” he said.