Bob Katter

The Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter believes the $16 million biofuels pilot plant announced yesterday in Gladstone is a big win for Queensland.

Southern Oil Refining is the NSW-based company behind the plant which has the potential to expand to a $150 million commercial-scale refinery with the capacity to produce 200 million litres of fuel per year.

The initiative aligns with the long established policy of KAP to create a biofuels industry in Queensland.

“The announcement of $16 million for the diesel-from-fibre plant at Gladstone is very big news for North Queensland,” said Mr Katter.

“I think most of us are scared that public money is going into new technologies but very big commercial money has also gone into this, indicating that large commercial players take this project seriously.”

“KAP would like to thank its Queensland MPs, Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth. Their contribution was small but it was significant.”

Mr Katter pointed out that this kind of initiative is linked to the future of development in the North West,

“If we were to do this kind of thing in Cloncurry, and we’ve already had discussions with the new Mayor of Cloncurry about the project, and similarly at Hughenden, onsite production of diesel would be a massive boost for the mining industry. The really big benefit would be to Richmond.”

“In the case of onsite produced diesel, the mines, the railways, the livestock and banana haulage… you’d only have to contact 20 or 30 of these industry actors before you’d have a market.”

But Mr Katter also pointed out the incongruity of the Australian Government’s current methodology to fuel procurement.

“This plant proves the total incompetence of the ALP and LNP Federal Governments that we’re sending $23 billion a year to the Middle East to buy petrol. That $23 billion should be going into rural Australia and specifically regional North Queensland to develop this kind of industry.”