WA biofuels group on task

WESTERN Australia’s Biofuels Taskforce met for the first time yesterday, canvassing ways to further promote opportunities for bio-fuel use and production.
WA biofuels group on task WA biofuels group on task WA biofuels group on task WA biofuels group on task WA biofuels group on task

The taskforce was set up by Agriculture Minister Kim Chance to look at specific issues such as the need to improve the security of supply by developing alternative renewable fuel sources and to identify new biofuels industry opportunities focused on regional development.

It has been charged with providing a report to Parliament within 12 months, providing recommendations and strategies for biofuels development in the state.

Chance said there was potential in WA for alternative fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol to provide significant benefits, in both environmental and economic terms.

"I believe one of the most important benefits a biofuels industry in WA will provide, is the boost to rural economies and the increase in employment opportunities which are likely to eventuate," Chance said.

Taskforce chair and Labor MP, Graham Giffard, said he was confident the group would help steer Western Australia towards more use of alternative fuels such as biodiesel.

"We are here to build a case for industry development; the government is hoping to facilitate private sector investment but we need to show industry an economic pathway for that investment," Giffard said.

"I am excited about the potential in WA for alternative fuels and I am looking forward to working with my fellow taskforce members to examine the opportunities available and suggest the best ways of making the most of them."

The taskforce includes National Party leader Brendan Grylls, Liberal Party MP Nigel Hallett and representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Planning and Infrastructure, the Department of Industry and Resources, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Health, Office of Energy, the Department of Environment and Forest Products Commission.

“Western Australians need to learn more about local opportunities for biofuels and the make-up of our taskforce will aid us in reaching out to all Western Australians," Mr Giffard said.

"The taskforce will consult widely with industry. It is now time to ensure ongoing industry development is supported by a group that can address key issues in the agricultural, transport and energy sectors on behalf of the industry."

Chance will give the keynote address at tomorrow’s one-day Bioenergy and Biofuels Conference to be held in Perth.

Chance will discuss the aims and objectives of the recently established Biofuels Taskforce and outline government initiatives underway in developing this industry.

Other speakers from government, parliament, research centres and the private sector will cover topics dealing with legislation, research findings, commercial realities and environmental concerns.

The conference will be held at the Novotel Langley, Ballroom South, 221 Adelaide Terrace, Perth. It will begin with a breakfast key note address from 7.15am – 8.45am on Friday, February 10 and end on the same day at 5pm.

For registration information, visit online www.wasea.com.au or www.stcwa.org.au.