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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6412

Mr WINDSOR (10:52 AM) —I noticed that in the budget documents there is an allocation under the environment portfolio towards research into cellulosic ethanol. Given—

Mr Combet interjecting

Mr WINDSOR —There is not? It is in the budget papers.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms S Bird)—The member can continue his explanation and the minister can come back and answer.

Mr WINDSOR —I have to have the attention of the minister, otherwise he cannot answer my question. Maybe that has been the problem this morning: they have not heard the questions so they cannot answer them!

The government has made a commitment to fund research into cellulosic ethanol. That will have obvious advantages in terms of renewable energy and carbon sequestration in soils et cetera. Last week’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme announcements and the amendments that you yourself brought in encourage the planting of trees to sequester carbon. Given all that, I have two questions. Do you, Minister, have a target in mind in the encouragement of cellulosic ethanol? And do you have any concerns as to the land-use shifts because of the carbon economy encouraging a change in land use from the production of food to the production of other energy sources or carbon sequestration?