The Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter said the tentative approach to ethanol use by the ALP Government is not good enough, saying the Government in today’s biofuel announcement, has avoided the use of ‘mandate’ with regards to ethanol. “They’re releasing a discussion paper on biofuels, and they’ve stated publically that if drivers don’t want to use ethanol fuels they won’t have to. “That’s hardly a great step forward, and it’s hardly a mandate,” Mr Katter said. He pointed out the ethanol mandate bill had been before three Parliaments and select committees. “We’ve had enough discussion on ethanol, what KAP wants and has asked for, is for the ethanol mandate to be progressed under an Independent Commission. “We need to get on with creating jobs for Queenslanders, hope for sugar farmers and establishing new industries which will grow from a State mandate on ethanol use. “The Government has made this announcement, about plans to unlock biofuels and bio-manufacturing industries in Queensland, without consulting the KAP which has been pushing it for years now. “It is one of our top negotiating points with ALP and they don’t even give us the courtesy of letting us know their plans,” Mr Katter said. He said this Government doesn’t have the luxury of moving slowly on the ethanol issue. “We’ve got sugar farmers on their knees now, captive to overseas marketing giants like Wilmar, where the Government has chosen to make this announcement today. “Why didn’t they choose the Dalby plant, which is Australian-owned, instead of a foreign-owned behemoth? “The Government is going to have to move faster than this glacial pace if they want to reach their renewable energy target of by 2030. “And hopefully we’ll still have sugar cane farms around by the time they’re reading to commit to an ethanol mandate.” Mr Katter said KAP would be putting their own bill or amendments forward in Parliament, with the aim of delivering an ethanol mandate under an Independent Commission. Ends.
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