By Adam Wright, 16 July 2015

JOBS at the Manildra plant in Bomaderry are under threat, according to a company spokeswoman because the NSW government won’t enforce the state’s ethanol mandate.

The NSW opposition has called for the government to release the findings of a report into the future of ethanol production, and the 6 per cent mandate in NSW.

The report by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) was completed in May.

The Manildra spokeswoman said unless the government enforced the mandate requiring ethanol to make up 6 per cent of the petrol sold in the state, jobs at the Bomaderry plant as well as investment and further development were at risk.

NSW is the only Australian state with an ethanol fuel mandate.

However, NSW ethanol sales were only at 2.79 per cent of total NSW petrol consumption.

The spokeswoman said the Bomaderry plant was operating below capacity due to the lack of mandate enforcement.

“The Manildra Group had invested $350 million in the ethanol plant at Nowra to meet the bipartisan fuel ethanol mandate,” she said.

“NSW failing the ethanol mandate is due to a number of factors including consumer awareness, a flawed exemption regime and lack of government enforcement.”

She said sales were declining significantly and believed it was an indication exemptions granted in advance were circumventing the mandate.

“Lenient exemptions have been granted to most oil majors, from February 2015 to the end of September 2015, a total of eight months of exemptions,” the spokeswoman said.

Shadow minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park called on Kiama MP Gareth Ward to “come clean with the local community and tell them what his government planned to do with ethanol production”.

“This is not the way to conduct government and nor is it the way to treat the people of the Illawarra,” he said.

Shadow minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Adam Searle accused the state government of sitting on the ethanol report.

“The entire process has been cloaked in a veil of secrecy.”

Extracted in full from the South Coast Register.