Ethanol mandate a $143 million hit to NSW motorists

MEDIA RELEASE – 31 August 2017

The Greens NSW Energy spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham has called on the NSW Government and the Labor Party to abandon their support for the NSW ethanol mandate after analysis by the Greens revealed it has cost motorists $143 million in the past year.  The analysis has also shown that monopoly ethanol supplier Manildra, who have donated over $2 million to Labor, Liberal and the Nationals since 2010, have made over $4.4 million in profit in the past year due to the mandate.

At a time of skyrocketing energy costs, motorists are being forced to pay more for petrol in NSW for no environmental benefit simply to line the pockets of a major political donor,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

Because of the ethanol mandate, many petrol stations no longer stock regular unleaded petrol and so motorists are being forced to pay hundreds of dollars extra every year if they don’t wish to use E10.”

Under the Biofuels Act 2007, 60% of all unleaded petrol sold in NSW must contain 10% ethanol.  Recent amendments to the Act, which were supported by all parties except the Greens, have forced fuel retailers to sell E10, even though most consumers do not wish to buy the product.  This has meant that many retailers no longer stock the cheaper regular unleaded petrol and motorists are being forced to purchase more expensive premium unleaded fuel.

Analysis by the Greens, based on methodology used by the ACCC, has calculated the difference between what motorists in Sydney spent on the various types of petrol in 2016–17 and what they would have spent if they had bought the same proportions of these types of petrol as in the rest of Australia excluding NSW, where there is no have an ethanol mandate. The analysis found that Sydney motorists may have spent around $143 million more on petrol as result of the ethanol mandate.

The analysis has also found that over 1 billion extra litres of e10 were sold in NSW in 2016-17 compared to other states, which has netted monopoly ethanol supplier Manildra approximately $4.49 million extra  profit.

E10 is not a clean, green energy source. If the Government are serious about reducing emissions from our transport sector then they should be introducing incentives for electric vehicles, not forcing consumers to buy E10.

The real driver of this ethanol mandate is the over $2 million that has been donated by Manildra, who sell at least 96% of ethanol in NSW, to the Liberal, National and Labor Parties in recent years.

While motorists suffer, 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.

“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,” Mr Buckingham concluded.

Mr Buckingham will introduce the Biofuels Repeal Bill 2017 to parliament on 12 September 2017.

Since 2010 the Manildra Group has donated:

  • Labor (federal) – $536,000
  • Liberal (federal) – $505,000,
  • Nationals (federal) – $683,000
  • Labor (NSW) – $123,000
  • Liberal (NSW) – $77,000
  • Nationals (NSW) – $76,000

The detailed calculations which the figures are based upon are available upon request.

One comment

  • Assuming these calculations are correct, then, I am disgusted with the obvious amount of influence these big companies can have on our political system, it is a disgrace and should be legislated against immediately.


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