Katter Party’s push to reopen Dalby’s ethanol refinery
KATTER'S Australian Party (KAP) has slammed the State and Federal Government for leaving the Dalby United Petroleum ethanol refinery "out to dry" following its closure during the pandemic.
Scott Morrison announced this week the Federal Government would create over 1000 new jobs with a $211 million investment in new domestic fuel storage facilities, and measures to support local refineries.
KAP State Leader and Member for Traeger Robbie Katter said this move made a "mockery" of their claims about stimulating manufacturing, when they've "stubbornly" resisted any attempts to help biofuel industries such as the ethanol plant in Dalby.
"It's been glaringly obvious to us they've excluded ethanol out of the fuel subsidies, and the question from us is why they wouldn't subsidise fuel that they can grow domestically," he said.
"It stimulates agriculture and creates tax revenue at the point of production in Australia for something we grow, and it enhances our fuel security.
"We're calling on both governments to back bio-fuels, and give the same subsidies to refineries like Dalby's so we can fuel the 100 jobs that made up this plant, and stimulate growth and construction for other plants."
Dalby's plant was Australia's first grain-to-ethanol facility, which unexpectedly closed earlier this year following the lack of demand for ethanol.
Commissioned in 2008, the plant would convert nearly 200,000 metric tonnes of sorghum into 76 million litres of ethanol.
Mr Katter and KAP candidate for Warrego Rick Gurnett agreed the government needed to look inside the country for fuel options, in order to create jobs across Queensland and Australia.
"The government is looking outside the country rather than inward, and if we have a five per cent mandate across Australia, that's five per cent of fuel that is staying in our country, rather than going overseas," Mr Gurnett said.
There is currently an ethanol mandate that requires fuel retailers and wholesalers to sell at least four per cent worth of sustainable bio-based fuel such as E10.
Mr Katter said the government left the Dalby refinery "out to dry" in relation to the hand sanitiser issue, where cheaper imported alternatives in direct competition to United Petroleum flooded the market this year.
"They didn't support them there but instead supported their competitors in fuel," he said.
"The Katter Party are the only ones who have kept this plant alive in politics, as we've moved towards keeping this plant viable with our four per cent mandate in parliament.
"This plant, and the one in Sarina, are the only two in Queensland, and our ambitions for Queensland and Warrego closely align with the aspirations of Dalby, and this ethanol plant."