Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, says after a lengthy public debate over a period of 13 years, the LNP has helped deliver legislation to create a renewable fuels mandate, which he hopes will provide the certainty required for the establishment of a renewable fuels in Queensland.
Mr Cripps said it was relief when the Liquid Fuel Supply (Ethanol & Other Biofuels Mandate) Amendment Bill 2015 was agreed to by all Members of the State Parliament yesterday, after what had been a tortured area of public policy debate in Queensland for over a decade.
“The LNP proposed private members bills in 2002, 2004 and 2008 to establish an ethanol mandate and a renewable fuels industry in Queensland and on each of those occasions, the bills had been defeated by the Beattie and Bligh Labor Government’s” said Mr Cripps.
“Labor’s interest in an ethanol mandate since 2006 has been episodic – they had a 2006 election commitment to introduce a 5 percent ethanol mandate in Queensland, which they reneged on in late 2010 – but now half a decade after, they have come back to it” he said.
Mr Cripps said a motion moved by the LNP in the Queensland Parliament on 6 May this year had provided some direction to the Palaszczuk Government and resulted in a bi-partisan approach to the development of the bill that was passed unanimously by all MPs yesterday.
“Over the years, debate on the issue of establishing an ethanol mandate and a renewable fuels industry in Queensland has identified a number of implementation questions, such as continuity of supply, the interests of consumers and the concerns of a number of other stakeholders”.
“We need to ensure that the initial mandated level can be met by existing production capacity in Queensland – nothing would be more embarrassing than commencing a mandate and for fuel retailers being forced into import ethanol from other states, or other countries”.
“The bill will require a volumetric mandate of 3 per cent for petrol and 1 per cent for biodiesel, to commence on 1 January 2017, allowing for more than 12 months of preparation and planning to ensure the smooth introduction of these arrangements throughout Queensland”.
“This legislation is a good outcome for the Hinchinbrook electorate, which is a strong sugar growing area and I’m proud of the positive role that the LNP has played over a long period of time, to achieve the establishment of a renewable fuels industry in Queensland”.
Mr Cripps said he believed the legislation would provide a positive signal and confidence to Queensland farmers that produce feedstock for renewable fuels, such as grain and sugarcane, that there would be additional demand and a diversified market for their product