“Kevin Rudd’s ALP continues to ignore the importance of ethanol and biofuels to Australia’s future, with the Labor Party launch passing yesterday without one mention of biofuels,” Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, Senator Ron Boswell said today.
Speaking in Townsville, Senator Boswell said E10 fuel retails for up to 3c/litre cheaper than regular unleaded fuel, it reduces greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and is 100% renewable, yet the Labor Party has totally ignored it.
“Biofuels are good for the family budget, good for rural communities and good for the environment,” he said.
“In a stark contrast to the Coalition, Kevin Rudd made no mention of ethanol blended fuels or biodiesel and the ALP’s published policy simply supports what the Government has already achieved. It is hypocritical of the ALP to claim to have solutions on climate change when they are blindly ignoring biofuels:- a major contributor to greenhouse gas reduction in Queensland.
“Queensland motorists, sugar growers and rural communities have a right to feel very upset at being ignored.
“The Nationals have made biofuel development and support a core issue in Government.
“On top of more than $130 million that the Government has invested in biofuel production, plant construction and research since 2001, this week The Nationals announced:-
• .a further $5 million to work with the biofuels industry to make more Australians aware of the benefits of biofuels and to drive demand.
• the extension of the Ethanol Distribution Programme, which helps petrol stations install new pumps or convert their existing pumps to sell ethanol blended fuel.
• $5 million to support the construction of a pilot lignocellulosic ethanol plant to find an economically viable way to make ethanol in commercial quantities from plant waste like sugar cane bagasse, crop stubble, and sawmill residue
• the funding of a $6 million trial to test whether the biodiesel blend B20 meets the standard for use in heavy vehicles, like semi-trailer prime movers. A successful trial will make it possible for road transport companies to seriously consider using B20.
Senator Boswell said The Nationals were the ones who have made the real difference in Government for the ethanol and sugar industries.
“The Labor Party’s paltry words of support, without policy initiatives or action mean that Rudd has shown his true colours and once again totally ignored the needs of regional areas and the sugar growers of Queensland,” he said.
“Kevin Rudd has handcuffed himself in preference deal with The Greens and allowed Labor to take part in joint advertising with these radical environmentalists in order to secure votes, but he refuses to provide any practical assistance for the environment by supporting a fledgling Australian biofuels industry,” Senator Boswell said.
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