Friday, September 7, 2007

[PBN] AU: Calls for protectionism of ethanol industry


Leave ethanol off trade deal, PM urged

Posted Thu Sep 6, 2007 11:00am AEST

The New South Wales Government says Australia cannot afford to open up
its ethanol market to increased competition from the US through a trade

The Regional Development Minister, Tony Kelly, says it has been
suggested that the issue would be on the agenda for talks between the
Prime Minister and the US President during this week's APEC summit.

But Mr Kelly says the biofuel industry provides too many jobs in NSW to
allow it to be jeopardised by increased exports from overseas.

"That helps sustain employees that are involved at plants at Gunnedah,
Narrandera and the township of Manildra itself, as well as Nowra," he said.

"That just shows you how the ethanol industry can create an enormous
number of jobs in rural and regional NSW, and how that can come under
threat if we do some deal with America."

He says a deal would reduce the environmental benefits provided by
locally-produced ethanol.

"The ethanol that's produced by the Manildra Group at Nowra is much
better for the environment than biofuels or ethanol that's produced by
corn in the US because what the Manildra Group use is the wheat starch
waste and that leads to some 37 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas
emissions," he said.
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