25 Jun Labor’s triple failure closes Dalby Bio-Refinery
The triple failure of the Palaszczuk Labor Government to support Queensland jobs, manufacturing and independence from China that has led to the re-closure of United Petroleum’s Dalby BioRefinery, Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter said the ethanol plant, which previously shut down its industrial grade production in February as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, is capable of producing 125,000 litres per day of high grade ethanol that can be used in hand sanitizer.
Despite this, the Queensland Government (and other purchasers) have not committed to buying the Dalby-made product in-bulk and are electing instead to purchase low-cost ethanol options from China.
Mr Katter said he was deeply concerned the government had failed to support the Queenslandbased manufacturer, despite spruiking their involvement in getting the Dalby operation up and running again back in April.
“I have this morning questioned the Premier as to why, when this local manufacturing operation has reached out for support, the State Government still continues to procure hand sanitizer made in China,” Mr Katter said.
“I want to know if the Premier will take responsibility for the recent closure of this facility, which is likely going to cost up to 100 Queensland jobs, by not making a commitment to this local business?”
Mr Katter said around 50 direct jobs were now at risk, with staff being asked to stand down and take leave from June 30. There would also be a hit to vital indirect jobs in the Dalby region, he warned.
“The State Government has praised themselves for giving some assistance in terms of providing the company access to suppliers but that doesn’t buy it,” Mr Katter said.
“To make things worse, the government is continuing to buy hand sanitizer from China. “This flies right in the face of what people want; the voters want things made in Australia again – we don’t want to buy hand sanitizer from the country that gave us this virus.
“We should be encouraging our own manufacturers to build and make things, especially when it helps to stimulate farming and industry.
“This is a tragedy, and it’s a case in point of what has gone wrong in this state and country over the last 30 years and brought us to where we are today.”