The Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) has called upon the NSW Government to remove its ethanol mandate. NSW is now the only state which supports a mandate of ethanol content in fuel.
ALFA President Jim Cudmore says that, “Every other Government in Australia has rejected or removed this ill-conceived policy due to the costs and risks outweighing any regional development, environmental and fuel security benefits.
“Despite significant grants, subsidies, tariffs and a guaranteed demand for its product, the NSW ethanol industry is still unable to meet supply requirements for the current 4% mandate let alone the legislated stipulation for all regular unleaded petrol to be E10 from 1 July 2011”.
Cudmore says that his organisation's views are shared by a range of industry and community groups.
“With the majority of ethanol for the current NSW mandate to be derived from grain, ALFA has always been concerned that during low grain production years, the artificial and inflexible demand created by the Government mandate would inflate grain and hence food prices,” he says.
He also points out that, because many vehicles and boats are not compatible with ethanol, consumers have had to deal with price rises of up to 12 cents/ litre for premium unleaded petrol as regular unleaded has become less available.
“The reduced availability of regular unleaded has become increasingly noticeable as major fuel retailers have been gradually phasing it out, with 49% less sold in NSW since the Government first mooted the ethanol mandate idea in March 2007,” Cudmore says.