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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
21 November 2006
Biofuels play an important role in the energy mix and the Australian Government is committed to supporting the sector, Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, said.
Representing Prime Minister John Howard at the Biofuels Australasia 2006 conference in Sydney today, Senator Campbell stressed that quality assurance was essential in exploring opportunities.
“The introduction of national fuel standards has played an important role in developing a viable biofuels industry in Australia,” Senator Campbell said. “Biodiesel is a relatively new alternative fuel for Australia. It has been used overseas in conventional diesel transport vehicles, in neat form and blended with conventional automotive diesel, for some time. Production of biodiesel in Australia is increasing, however current production and use is not at a commercially significant level compared to automotive diesel.
“To encourage continued development of the industry, and consumer confidence in it, it is vital to ensure only diesel/biodiesel blends of the highest quality are available. The Australian Government’s Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 has an important role in this regard.
“Transport is the most significant contributor to ambient air pollution in urban Australia, with cars and light commercial vehicles the dominant source of transport pollutants. Australian Government environment, greenhouse, transport and industry agencies have been working with industry to improve emission performance of transport fleets.
“We have already implemented fuel quality standards for petrol, automotive diesel, biodiesel (100 per cent) and LPG (autogas) under the national Act, making a major contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants from Australian road transport.
“I welcome comment on a discussion paper my Department released recently on management options for diesel/biodiesel blends and how best to address the issues related to standardising diesel/biodiesel blends in the Australian market.
The Australian Government has also helped the biofuels industry with a competitive advantage through excise-free status, with the final excise rate for alternative fuels in 2015 to be 50 per cent lower than other transport fuels of similar energy content.
“Through the Biofuels Action Plan the industry expects to exceed the Government’s 350 million litre target by 2010. The substantial investments in the sector are further evidence that the industry continues to grow.”
For more information on biofuels and to access the discussion paper, visit www.deh.gov.au/atmosphere/fuelquality.
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902