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Wednesday, 16 April 1980
Page: 1540


Senator Mason asked the Minister for National Development and Energy, upon notice, on 5 March 1980:

(   1 ) When will the Minister announce clear guidelines establishing the Australian excise on agriculturally-based ethanol fuels.

(2)   Has the Minister had any consultations with the Australian Wheat Board to discuss any difficulty that may arise with wheat quotas for those farmers willing to grow wheat for ethanol production; if so, what has been the result of these consultations.


Senator Carrick - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(   1 ) On 16 February the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs and I announced that legislation is to be amended to make provision for the introduction of an experimenter's licence for small-scale fuel ethanol production. The amendments are at present before Parliament. They include provision for the exemption from excise of ethanol produced for use as an on-farm or transport fuel. The exemption will apply to fuel ethanol, whether it is produced commercially or in approved small-scale facilities, at least until the commercial viability of its large scale use as an alternative fuel has been established.

(2)   No. Wheat quotas have been suspended since the 1975-76 season. Although provision for the implementation of quotas has been carried forward in the new wheat marketing arrangements, quotas would be utilised only if the industry and State Governments together with the Commonwealth agreed that quotas were required.

In the past quotas were applied at the delivery point and farmers were able to use over-quota wheat for any on-farm purpose. It was also a past practice to determine quotas in the light of market requirements. It is likely that a similar practice would be followed if quotas were reintroduced in the future. In estimating market requirements I have no doubt that the demand for wheat for ethanol production would be taken into account.







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