18 December 2015

Media Release
(For immediate release)

Reckless Cabinet decision on ethanol mandate

The peak industry body representing fuel retailers in Australia has responded angrily to newspaper reports that the NSW Cabinet has made a decision to require all service stations in NSW to sell E10.

The move reverses a previous provision under the 2007 Legislation – as introduced by the NSW Labor Government – that exempted small fuel retailers (i.e. less than 20 sites) from selling ethanol blended fuel.

The exemptions were made on the grounds that these businesses could not reasonably bear the substantial costs associated with changing infrastructure to accommodate E10.

“The decision to remove these small business safeguards – in order to benefits the state’s monopoly ethanol producer – is quite simply reckless, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie

“The decision risks small business marginalisation, job loss in regional areas, and higher fuel prices for motorists”, said Mark

“All of the original concerns about the increased costs on small fuel business remain and so the decision risks substantial impact on the viability of these businesses and the livelihood of around 5400 people that work in these businesses”, said Mark.

“The Baird Government is effectively saying to the numerous NSW small businesses in our industry that the protection of the 300 jobs at Manildra’s refinery on the South Coast is more important than the 5400 jobs in our industry” said Mark.

“The jobs argument advanced by the Baird Government simply doesn’t make sense – and nor does the Nationals support of this argument as the vast majority of the jobs at risk are likely to be in regional and rural areas”, said Mark

While a number of countries around the world have sought to introduce biofuel mandates, the vast majority of these countries have implemented programmes that provide capital assistance for the adaptation of infrastructure – in order to prevent increased costs being passed through to motorists.

“In fact, the United States – long held up as the ‘pin-up boy’ of a good biofuel market development programme – operates a $100M dollar partnership programme with industry with the express purpose of minimising costs to fuel retailers”, said Mark
(refer to http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/05/0157.xml)

“But in NSW, the Baird Government is trying to ‘have its cake and eat it too’ by enforcing the mandate on all service stations and transferring the cost of achieving this mandate onto small to medium fuel retail businesses throughout NSW”, said Mark

“So effectively, small fuel retail businesses in NSW are being forced to shoulder the market development costs for the Manildra Group”, said Mark

“The most infuriating aspect of all of this is that it has been made without any consultation with industry and simply appears to be a blatant attempt to reward a large campaign donor – The Manildra Group – regardless of the likely negative impact on a large number of small businesses, their employees and motorists at large”, said Mark

Media Inquiries
Mark McKenzie (CEO, ACAPMA)
Mob. 0447 444 011
Email: markm@acapma.com.au

The Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association is the peak industry association representing the interests of petroleum distribution, petroleum wholesaling and petroleum retailing businesses in Australia.