Tuesday, 23 June 2015
I have seen some great deceits in my time, in 41 years in parliament, but the deceit on ethanol really gets the prize. I have never seen such a concerted effort of public lying as I have seen on this issue. This is a map of the world, with all of the countries that are on biofuels in the world. All the countries in the world are coloured in. Every single country has ethanol biofuels—all of Europe, all of North America, all of South America, China, India, Japan, half of Indonesia and Thailand. All the world has ethanol except for Australia and the countries on the African continent. Why is that? Why is this nation out of step so badly? All the world has 0.2 per cent interest rates. Australia is actually skiting about having two per cent interest rates, which drives our cost structures through the roof.
Let me return to ethanol. This is a picture of a handsome-looking film star in a big white hat, filling up a General Motors car in Sao Paulo in Brazil, and the price is 74c a litre. At the present moment in Brazil, you can buy ethanol—the cost structure has gone up—for 91c a litre. In the United States, you can buy it for 64c a litre. We get the RACQ in Queensland saying that it is a train crash and it will put the price of petrol up. It is funny it has not put the price of petrol up in the United States or Brazil, but it is going to put it up in Australia. That is very curious, and it will be very curious when we disclose the reasons why the RACQ, or certain people in the RACQ, have taken this position.
Let me move on. It has been decided by this government and the last government—
Wyatt Roy interjecting—
There is a little fellow down here playing up, Mr Deputy Speaker. Could you throw him out. He should really be with his toys. Let me continue and not be interrupted by children. In 2002, $1,000 million was sent overseas to buy petrol. This year, we sent $25,000 million overseas to buy petrol.
Mrs Griggs interjecting—
Wyatt Roy interjecting—
The people laughing and jeering here, the two Liberal members, obviously think that is funny. They think it is funny that we should be buying all of our petrol from overseas. Well, the NRMA in New South Wales does not think it is funny. It thinks that a country that will go without any possible way of refuelling its petrol tanks if we get into a difficult situation internationally must be crazy. That is what the NRMA thinks, but these two great geniuses here from the Liberal Party think it is funny that we are sending $25,000 million overseas instead of into rural Australia for ethanol.
Mr Deputy Speaker Scott, you represent grain growers. There are over 3,000 grain growers in Queensland. I represent a lot of grain growers. There are 40 lot feeders. The 40 lot feeders are screaming blue bloody murder. Why? Because it puts the price of grain up, because it gives a 16 per cent benefit for your struggling grain growers. You know the number of people that have hit the deck in the grain-growing industry and that are hitting the deck as we talk. I might add that two of the five biggest grain growers in Australia are amongst that number. We saw the very great courage of George Christensen crossing the floor on this, because he just could not live with his conscience any longer. It does not seem to worry too many of the rest of them over here.
In the sugar industry, the Brazilians enjoy $420 a tonne. We cannot get $340, because our cane is used for sugar and their cane is used for ethanol. We cannot compete against them. They are murdering us. They are cross-subsidising. Finally, on CO2, we have the Queensland government spending $1,000 million to solve the CO2 problem, and the answer is right there in front of them. (Time expired)