Ethanol stings at the pump

A NSW mandate requires that six per cent of all petrol sold must be ethanol.

Analysis by the NSW Greens has suggested that an ethanol mandate is responsible for costing motorists $143 million a year.

It estimates Australia’s largest producer Manildra made an additional $4.4 million in profit thanks to the mandate which states that six per cent of all petrol sold must be ethanol.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) noted that motorists who could not, or chose not to put ethanol in their vehicles had to instead use premium unleaded due to a reduced availability of regular unleaded.

The ethanol mandate has been in place since 2007.

According to figures by the Federal department of environment and energy, NSW motorists purchased premium unleaded petrol at 44 per cent compared with 25 per cent in the other states last financial year.

The Greens analysis estimates that this accounts for an additional $143,216, 592 last year as a result of the mandate.

It has been estimated that Manildra makes an average of 4.5c profit per litre, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Greens MP and energy spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said motorists are suffering at the pump while Manildra profits.

“Manildra will be very happy with the influence their donations have bought as the mandate has gifted over $4.4 million in profits to them in the past year alone,” he said, referencing donations made to the coalition by Manildra prior to the mandate being put in place.

“The Greens will be introducing a bill to repeal the ethanol mandate as soon as parliament resumes to test whether the old parties are prepared to finally put the interests of motorists ahead of a major political donor.”

A NSW Fair Trade spokesperson said the mandate increased consumer choice by making E10 more readily available at the bowser.

“The ACCC report itself notes that the rise in premium fuel sales cannot be solely attributed to the biofuel mandate,” she said.


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