Jessica Crofts, 18 December 2015

WESTERN Downs farmers will now be able to sustain their sorghum crop businesses due to legislation of a bio-fuels mandate for Queensland.

The new legislation will require fuel sellers to meet targets for the sale of ethanol-blended petrol and bio-based diesel.

This mandate will require an initial 3% of ethanol for petrol and half a per cent for bio-based diesel to be mandated starting on January 1, 2017.

News of the passed legislation could not have come quicker for Macalister farmer Ross von Pein, who grows a variety of dry land materials including the ethanol substance sorghum. Sorghum is fermented as a material to produce ethanol.

Mr von Pein, along with ethanol advocate for Western Downs Larissa Rose, said they have been fighting for an ethanol mandate over the past few years.

“Without the Katter Party and Larissa it would have been a long hard road before the legislation was passed,” he said.

“The LNP had shut it down many times before as they thought it wasn’t viable for Queensland.”

The bio-refinery in Dalby was performing at 50% capacity due to no demand for ethanol, but with the passing of the mandate, higher demand for fuel will be evident.

Mr von Pein said in his 45 years working as a farmer, the recent legislation was a welcome early Christmas present and a significant victory for the Western Downs.

“This means another market will be created for all sorghum farmers creating local jobs, and the more ethanol we can blend the cleaner the air,” he said.

Ms Rose said the remaining issue was educating consumers to use ethanol.

Extracted in full from The Chronicle.