Labor hijacks LNP ethanol mandate, makes own motion
LABOR hijacked the LNP's ethanol mandate debate in another vote showing it holds power in Queensland Parliament.
The LNP was seeking support for an ethanol mandate for fuel and to form an implementation board for consultation, to determine preferred ethanol content in fuel and determine timeframes for introducing mandated ethanol levels.
Ethanol has been a hot issue for Katter's Australian Party at both a state and federal level as a way to create regional jobs for sugar cane farmers.
KAP seeks a mandate for 10% ethanol in fuel.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, in a blueprint partly designed to woo KAP in the hope of forming minority administration in February, committed to phasing in an ethanol mandate.
KAP sided with the LNP to make 43 votes but Labor introduced its own motion when the debate began about 6pm - noting it had already committed in April to introducing a bill to implement legislative measures to support an ethanol mandate, biofuels and biomanufacturing industry.
Deleting anything about the LNP's implementation board, the Palaszczuk Government further stated it had already begun consulting with stakeholders and would release a discussion paper on the matter by the end of May.
The new motion detailed how that paper would canvas preferred levels and timeframes for an ethanol mandate, ensure the move supported regional economies, and consider impacts on fuel retailers and consumers.
While there seemed an early chance for LNP to have a win, now independent Billy Gordon voted for the amendments and speaker Peter Wellington exercised his casting vote for the first time to give Labor the win.
EARLIER: LNP to push for ethanol mandate for Queensland fuel
THE LNP will seek support for an ethanol mandate for fuel during a debate in Queensland Parliament tonight.
Glasshouse Mountains MP Andrew Powell moved a motion that the house debate support for a mandate and form an implementation board.
Such a board would consult stakeholders and consumers, determine preferred levels for ethanol content in fuel sold in Queensland, and determine timeframes for the introduction of those mandated ethanol levels.
Ethanol has been a hot issue for Katter's Australian Party at both a state and federal level.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, in a blueprint partly designed to woo KAP in hopes of forming minority administration in February, committed to phasing in an ethanol mandate.
Labor already announced plans last month to expand Queensland's biofuel and bio-manufacturing industries.
Energy Minister Mark Bailey said the government would be consulting widely on ways to extract the best from the industry.
"As part of our plan to steer the state towards a sustainable energy future, it is intended to require the big oil companies to make available an ethanol blend in their fuel," he said.
"The use of an ethanol blend will need to be rolled out, over time, in line with production capacity. That way, we are best-placed to ensure that any ethanol used and sold in Queensland comes from Queensland.
"Regular unleaded petrol will still be widely available at petrol stations in Queensland.
"If drivers don't want to use ethanol fuels, they won't have to."
With KAP likely to support the LNP motion set for 6pm, it's possible the LNP could be successful if now independent Cook MP votes in the party's favour too.