Review of the Biofuels Act

Submission cover sheet

  • Name of organisation or individual making this submission

    Jonathan Nichol

  • Authorised delegate/contact person

    Jonathan Nichol

  • Position

  • Organisation

Questions on possible options

  1. Are the objects of the Biofuels Act and Regulation still valid? Why or why not?

    Yes. Both the primary and secondary objectives are valid. To have more local industry providing jobs for people to manufacture this in Australia when a lot of industries are moving overseas is a big advantage. Also the benefits to emissions would make a huge difference if more people were using high ethanol blends eg E85 in their cars.

  2. Are there any other economic, social, environmental and consumer costs and benefits associated with biofuels that Government should further consider, to ensure that the regulatory regime is effective?

    As an E85 user myself I enjoy lower fuel prices generally than other motorists. I’m sure if more people were using this fuel, the price would drop further as production increased. Also with all the news of climate change recently, a move by the government to make high ethanol blends more attractive to consumers would be viewed in a positive way. As a point for regulation, when I started buying E85 it was way below $1 per litre. Now it is over $1.40. The pricing needs to be monitored more to ensure it’s use. I would suggest lowering the government tax on this fuel as one way to get people using it more.

  3. Are there any developments, innovations or emerging trends in the broader transport or fuel industry that Government should consider in assessing the biofuels regulatory regime?

    We should look towards places like Brazil that have a high percentage of ethanol fuel usage. Innovations such as Holden having cars manufactured to run E85 blends from the factory in the past should be phased in over time by other manufacturers to help with ethanol popularity and acceptance by the public to help lower emissions.

  4. Are there any entities that should be included in or excluded from the Act? If so, which entities and why?

  5. Are the definitions of volume fuel retailers and primary wholesalers adequate? If not, how could the definitions change?

  6. Does the Act appropriately balance the interests of small businesses with the broader objectives of the mandate? Please provide comments.

  7. Should the prescribed mandate for ethanol and biodiesel sales remain at the current rate? If not, how should it change and why?

    I believe it should be raised slowly over time with a focus on petrol cars being able to run a mixture of E85 or petrol from the factory.

  8. Are the biofuel sustainability standards adequate? Please provide comments.

  9. Are there emerging industry standards or developments that should be taken in to account when assessing and defining sustainability?

  10. Is the exemption process for not meeting the minimum biofuels requirements adequate? Should the factors that the Minister must take in to account before granting an exemption change?

  11. What is the process like to seek an exemption? Are there any changes that could be made to ensure the process is as seamless and as user-friendly as possible?

  12. Is the Biofuels Exemption Framework and Guidelines document easy to understand and comply with? Should any of the matters outlined in the Guidelines be included instead in the Biofuels Regulation to ensure abundant legal clarity?

  13. Are the current registration, return and record keeping requirements adequate? Please provide comments.

  14. How much time approximately does it take primary wholesales, volume fuel retailers and other operators of service stations to provide the return to NSW Fair Trading?

  15. What other reporting and financial regulatory requirements are primary wholesalers, volume fuel retailers and other operators of service stations required to comply with? For example, at the Commonwealth level.

  16. Are IPART’s functions and role adequate to help achieve the objectives of the Biofuels Act? Please provide comments.

  17. Are there any other functions, research or role could IPART take in the biofuels regulatory regime?

  18. What information and data would be useful in ensuring regulation fosters a competitive biofuels industry?

  19. Is the current compliance and enforcement approach working well? Please provide comments.

  20. Is the current approach appropriate and should any changes be made (such as to penalty amounts) to make the compliance and enforcement approach more effective?

  21. Is the role and composition of the Biofuels Expert Panel still valid? Please provide comments.

  22. Do you have any other general comments on the biofuels regulatory regime? Please provide further detail.

    This could be a big opportunity for the NSW government to take a stand on climate change by encouraging the use of high ethanol blends fuels such as E85. This would make a huge difference to our emissions if it is introduced to the public in the right way.

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