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December 13-15, 2005
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

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Posted on  

December 10, 2001

Qld Govt changes fleet to ethanol blend

In an Australian first, the Queensland Government will start switching its government vehicle fleet to use petrol blended with ethanol, a sugar by-product.

The Environment Minister, Dean Wells, says a bowser capable of pumping ethanol will be installed in the Government motor garage and the fuel will be available to general consumers in coming months.

"Now if every car in Queensland that was capable of using ethanol, was configured for unleaded petrol, were to be using ethanol, well in effect that would be 1 million tonnes of greenhouse gases less each year going into the atmosphere," Mr Wells said.

The Queensland Conservation Council has welcomed the move but coordinator Felicity Wishart, says while it is a step forward, she still has concerns about the production of ethanol.

"Obviously sugar cane farming does have environmental risks and problems associated with it.

"We have to work to ensure that sugarcane growing is an environmentally sound as possible," Ms Wishart said. Sugar industry

The Canegrowers Association says there is unlikely to be an expansion of the sugar industry because of the Government's decision.

However the general manager of the Canegrowers Association, Ian Ballantyne, says that will not encourage farmers to plant more cane.

"While we certainly salute the State Government's project, it is unlikely in the short-term to lead to any form of expansion in itself of the sugar industry.

"The ethanol in the first case is more likely to be made from a by-product called molasses or it may well be sourced out of a cereal crop," Mr Ballantyne said.  


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