Australia is an ‘industrial backwater’ as Katter looks to Brazil

Jun 7, 2023

KATTER’S Australian Party MP and long-term ethanol advocate Bob Katter is calling on the government to part ways with its colonial mentality and stand up against the major corporations to build sovereign fuel capacity.

It comes as the aviation industry forecasts a prolonged period of high airfares, due to the costs of sustainable aviation fuel – understood to be four times higher than regular jet fuel.

Airlines have expressed their desire to switch to renewable fuels, which Mr Katter has long pushed for, but are now urging governments to further invest in sustainable fuel sector to alleviate costs long term. [1]

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water in its March 2023 Australian Petroleum Statistics publication stated the nation refined 718.5ML of aviation fuel, while it imported 4816 ML – worth $5.84bn.

Looking to Brazil – an “advanced industrial nation” which manufactures aeroplanes, cars and ethanol, Mr Katter was left with one question: “Why don’t we do this in Australia?”

“We’re an industrial backwater now,” Mr Katter said.

“In Brazil, they have 49 per cent of their motor vehicle fuel as ethanol, coming from their sugar cane mills, and they’re paying $1.29 (AUD), while we’re paying about $1.90.

“Because we’re a colony of the giant corporations, the fact that there’s one or two that are Australian owned is fairly irrelevant.

“The biggest corporations on earth are the fuel companies and they’ll make a big song and dance about what they’re doing, but in actual fact, they’re doing nothing.

“You get some strong governments like the government in Brazil, the government in the US, and then you get some joke governments like Australia’s governments.

“We might have lost the political colonial government, but we never lost the colonial mentality.

“And we’ve only got two countries on earth not doing ethanol, New Zealand and Australia, and you have to say, the colonial spot marks are showing.”


[1]High airfares till 2040, predicts IATA chief economist | The Australian