THE rush to replace carbon-emitting petroleum with "clean green" biofuels is
threatening to stall in the face of rising food prices, Federal Government
disincentives and growing opposition from environmental groups sounding the
alarm about large-scale deforestation to support fuel crops.
Now a planned $30 million biodiesel plant in Port Botany is under attack by the
Greens because it will use palm oil from Indonesia and Malaysia. Its future is
up in the air as the developer, Natural Fuels Australia, decides whether it
should go ahead. The chairman of the company, Barry Murphy, said yesterday that
the Federal Government clean fuels grant did not in reality encourage the use of
pure biodiesel from crops and therefore "makes the economics difficult". He also
acknowledged the price of feedstock and the global issues around climate change
and deforestation made the decision a tough one.
The Greens state MP Ian Cohen ...