Farmers’ Federation against mandating biofuels in Australia

Mandating biofuel blends ‘not the solution’
Friday, 22 June 2007

A new report claims mounting pressure to mandate for the use of biofuels in petrol and diesel in Australia ‘is not the solution’ to the future of development of biofuels in Australia.

Today, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) helped launch the new study, Biofuels in Australia, commissioned by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and undertaken by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Simon Ramsay, chair of the NFF Biofuels Taskforce, said:

Our grain and sugar producers, who supply the raw materials for first generation ethanol and biodiesel production, know only too well the significant increase in demand for their output that biofuels can generate.

Conversely, our livestock sectors, which use grain as a key input and account for 38% of the value of Australian agricultural production, have been understandably concerned about the potential for ethanol to increase costs as they compete for grain.

This report will help ensure the NFF maintains a sensible, informed position on the issue, in the interests of all farmers.

That needs to be tempered in light of the potential impacts on livestock farmers and our local capacity to supply the biofuels sector in a sustainable manner.

We support the establishment of a sustainable and profitable domestic biofuels industry that can stand alone without ongoing Government support.

At this time, however, mandating biofuels components within petrol and diesel is not the solution.

Rather, the focus must be on delivering a range of market-based incentives that place emphasis on biofuels, allowing demand to be driven by consumers, to see biofuels independently competitive over the long-haul.

More information: RIRDC

Source: National Farmers’ Federation via FarmOnline

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