The funding, which is part of the ‘Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan’ should hopefully shift the focus of policy makers to put the emphasis back on the potential of the agricultural sector says, Mr Katter.
Mr Katter who fought for the introduction of the ethanol mandate says he hopes to further expand the three per cent mandate for ethanol petrol and a half a percent mandate for bio-based diesel which will come in next year.
“Today we have a difficult situation with high unemployment and underemployment, an unstable economy and particularly in the regions, obvious economic and social contraction; our businesses need leadership and confidence, so they can once again see the way clear to start to invest and employ,” Mr Katter said.
“Biofuels can offer a lifeline to many towns dependent on the agricultural sector, especially in the south-west corner and in sugar county along the north coast.
“In Dalby, home of the United Biofuels facility, 80% of the revenue is expended in a 100 kilometre radius of the plant.
“So a facility like the one in Dalby that generates well over $100 million dollars per year and contributes close to $80 million into the local community, is fantastic but we need so much more,” he said.
While the KAP still see the Ethanol Mandate as a significant achievement Mr Katter believes it will need to rise further before making any significant impact on investment.
“The ethanol plant in Dalby is only operating at 41% production, until we see a 5% mandate existing resources across Queensland won’t even be at capacity,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter said he was also disappointed to see motoring group RACQ’s comments which encouraged a delay in the introduction of the mandate.
“I fail to see the logic behind a motoring group discouraging a policy that has the potential to bring down fuel prices for its members,” Mr Katter said.
“Especially when the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers, a performance-focused peak body are highly supportive of this mandate.
“In fact over 60 other nations are committed to the production and consumption of this renewable fuel all the while Australia has been dragging its feet,” he said.