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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 178

Senator COULTER (12.32 p.m.) —The second amendment to be moved by the Democrats was to clause 6, page 3. The purpose of this amendment was, as I think Senator Margetts pointed out, to avoid penalising the excellent work Manildra has done over some considerable time before the bounty actually comes into operation. The bill as it stands would have the effect that a company which had entered into production earlier might well be penalised permanently throughout the bounty period by reason of the fact that it had made this production before the bounty scheme began.

  However, on the other side we have had from the advisers to the minister the very good point that the purpose of this bill is to do two things: to encourage the use of ethanol specifically for fuel but also to ensure that there is new ethanol production for that purpose brought on line. On balance, and bearing in mind that we understand that the government is not supporting this amendment, we have to accept that this amendment would not get up and therefore we will not proceed with it.

  I reiterate very strongly that Manildra is a company that showed a very strong commitment to fuel ethanol before the bounty scheme came into place. It should be congratulated on that strong support for the industry it has developed and also for its support for the research work that has gone on in the University of New South Wales. In view of the government's lack of support for that amendment and the arguments it has put, we will not proceed with it.

Senator Schacht —I appreciate the cooperation of the Democrats in not proceeding with the amendment. As I understand it, amendments 2, 3 and 4 all cover that same area. Do the Democrats wish not to proceed with any of those?

Senator COULTER —That is so.