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Biofuels amendment bill passes NSW’s Lower House

A biofuels amendment bill passed the Lower House of Parliament of Australia’s state of New South Wales yesterday and will now be sent to the Upper House for their consideration.

The bill has stirred controversy with the resignation of the Upper House Whip Peter Phelps due to his opposition to the bill.

The bill requires smaller retailers to sell E10 (10% ethanol blend) petrol. The goal is ensure that ethanol comprises 6% of all fuel sold in New South Wales. Fines of up to AUD 550,000 (USD 417,901) will be imposed on business owners who do not comply.

Phelps said he opposed the legislation because of its potential to penalise service station owners.

“As far as I am concerned that is the most illiberal policy I can possibly think of,” he said. “We are criminalising a business for the purchase, the lawful purchase decisions of their customers.”

Local Kiama MP Gareth Ward said the legislation would help guarantee the continuation of 300 local jobs in the Shoalhaven.

“I am proud about the fact that this mandate means that the jobs at Manildra are secure and that ethanol will continue to be produced in New South Wales,” he said.