“Forward contracts need to be signed between biofuel suppliers and Australia’s major petrol distributors as soon as possible for the first set of biofuels targets to be met in June 2006,” Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, Senator Ron Boswell, said.
Senator Boswell said he was disappointed to be advised by the Renewable Fuels Association that no major contracts had been signed since the Industry Action Plans were announced in December last year.
“Most of the major oil companies have outlined their plans to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister and committed to achieving at least 58 million litres (ML) of biofuel distribution by June 2006, leading to an eventual target of more than 350 ML by 2010,”Senator Boswell said.
"I understand that, unlike other oil majors, Mobil is yet to put their biofuels plan on the table and I would encourage the company to join others and commit to making biofuels a significant proportion of their available transport fuel product in Australia."
“The issue is that, unless forward contracts are secured by the end of March, there will be insufficient biofuel available in June to meet those commitments."
“Processors need lead time to secure feedstock, as well as time for producing fuel."
“It is essential that viable contracts at a realistic price can be secured between suppliers and distributors."
“The oil companies have given the Government a commitment that these targets will be achieved and I expect them to honour that commitment."
“These companies are well aware that The Nationals are determined that a viable biofuel industry is developed in Australia and they have an important role to play in that development."
"Unless the commitment is made now, there is every possibility that the Industry Action Plans will fall at the first hurdle. If this was to happen, then I would be strongly supporting the introduction of a 1% MRFT to reach the Government’s 350 megalitre target."
“I will continue to monitor the progress of the target plans and trust that by the end of this month there will be a clear signal, in the form of signed contracts, that the target will be met,” Senator Boswell said.
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