$30m announced for renewable fuel – NQ sugar primed to deliver

Jun 21, 2023

KATTER’S Australian Party (KAP) MP Bob Katter has 30 million “sweet” reasons to celebrate today as his party’s staple emissions reduction and fuel sovereignty policy received a major boost.

Mr Katter congratulated the Federal Government on its “first real step” towards emissions reduction and creation of Australian industry, when it announced $30m in grants for companies to manufacture sustainable aviation fuel on Wednesday.

While the announcement was directed towards the aviation industry, Mr Katter said the significant investment in renewable fuel would greatly benefit agriculture both in North Queensland and throughout Australia, as well pave the way for greater production and consumption of ethanol at a household level.

Mr Katter said the announcement would provide a “glimmer of hope” for long-established Ingham renewable fuel company – North Queensland Bio Energy – a company created in 2004 to diversify the incomes of the region’s sugar growers. However, with very little public support the aspirational company had “shelved” its plans.

“Nick Dametto (Hinchinbrook MP), Robert Carey (NQBE CEO), you can break out the champagne bottles, but you can’t pop the cork just yet. When the KAP gets the balance of power in state parliament next year, it’ll be take off time,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter reflected on the successes of KAP’s lobbying for increased use of renewable fuel, but said Wednesday’s announcement presented an opportunity to go further.

“I want to put on record my personal thanks to the ALP and trade union friends of mine who attended a meeting with a former state treasurer that secured, along with the KAP state members 4.5 per cent ethanol use in Queensland.”

“Former New South Wales premier Morris Iemma, with the Australian Medical Association got 6.5 per cent ethanol in New South Wales. I think the window is now open for 10 per cent, in every litre of fuel in Australia.

“It also opens the way to zero-emission transportation in Australia and full fuel self-sufficiency, instead of sending $40bn a year overseas to buy petrol, diesel, avgas and lubricants, that $40bn a year will be going into Australian pockets.”

Mr Katter said North Queensland’s sugar industry was primed to deliver Australia’s renewable and sustainable fuel requirements.

“Sugar cane absorbs 72 tonnes of CO2 per hectare, per year. 10ha of sugar cane creates 10,000L of ethanol. And it creates renewable electricity, renewable petrol and “sweeteners” in all our lives.

“We congratulate the government, this is the first real, fair dinkum reduction in CO2 emissions and the first creation of an industry in Australia. This is of course if it happens – a press statement is not reality.”