By voting against laws the KAP introduced to mandate a 10 per cent ethanol content in motor vehicle fuels, major party politicians have denied Australians a significant cost-of-living saving at the bowser.

On my only-ever overseas trip to study other countries’ ethanol industries, I paid 74c/L in Brazil and 84c/L in America at the bowser when it was $1.39/L in Australia.

That’s because ethanol is considerably cheaper than the price at which you can buy oil anywhere in the world. And it reduces our reliance on expensive overseas oil – for which we’re currently sending $19,500m a year to Middle Eastern oil producers.

But the reason most countries on Earth (apart from Australia) have moved to mandate this biofuel content is because of its effect on vehicle exhaust pollution – which NSW authorities report kills three times as many people (1400 a year) than road accident deaths.

Pour petrol in the river fish die; pour ethanol in the river and fish smile.

Prior to bringing forward our ethanol laws as a matter of urgency before Parliament concluded, we contacted numerous rural and regional MPs seeking their support on behalf of their communities.

Ethanol provides for increased prices for our sugar and grain, as the world experience has shown, as well as a super-cheap and super-nutritious by-product feed for cattle.

We can also turn the waste from our sugar mills into ethanol and electricity producers, guaranteeing long term market prices for growers and cheaper electricity for Australians.

Yet not one of the ALP or LNP federal MPs – from those who supposedly stand up for our sugar, cattle and grain regions, to those who represent capital city dwellers suffocated by lethal motor vehicle emissions – voted for our emergency move on the second-last day of parliamentary sittings to mandate a renewable ethanol content in motor vehicle fuels.

And to round out the hypocrisy on display, neither did the Greens.


Hon Bob Katter MP

Federal Member for Kennedy

08 July 2013