April 21st 2001

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Articles from this issue:

INTERVIEW: Refugees - what should we do?

EDITORIAL: Defence - the way forward

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Costello's future linked to Howard's fate

INDONESIA : Can Wahid survive IMF demands and army intrigue?

TRADE : Why US trade deal won't fly

ENVIRONMENT: Kyoto greenhouse Protocol "dead in the water"

New Voluntary Euthanasia Bill in SA

Grain farmers tackle crisis in agriculture

Straws in the Wind



COMMENT: How modern culture erodes family ties

DRUGS: Guarded optimism after Melbourne summit

ECONOMICS: Victims of the "new economy"

EDUCATION: "Educational Left" - how it failed schools

BOOKS: "How many divisions ... ?"

BOOKS: Business ethics: 'NO LOGO', by Naomi Klein

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by William R. Smith, Rev Fred Nile

News Weekly, April 21, 2001
Alternative fuel


In his news release on the Federal Government's gift of $8.8 million to BP, Warren Truss stated "This is an example of the Federal Coalition's commitment to ethanol as an alternative fuel". That has to be a joke!

In 1992, the Manildra Group, a totally owned and operated Australian company, spent $45 million on an ethanol production plant at Nowra in NSW, using wheaten products as its raw material. When the plant produced ethanol, the then ALP Government granted it "excise-free" status as a totally non-polluting adjunct to petrol, and ethanol/petrol blends were made available to motorists. However, BP, Mobil, Shell and Caltex refused to buy and to include ethanol in their fuels. (Source: The Australian Biofuels Association).

The present Coalition removed ethanol's 'excise-free' status almost simultaneously with its taking office.

The Manildra Group bought, extracted and used sugar in the 1990s to extend its raw materials base, but with all of the major multinational oil companies refusing to use ethanol, and the Coalition applying excise, the project faltered. Not only did the Manildra Group lose out, but the wheat and sugar industries lost an opportunity of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of wheat and sugar being used for the domestic production and consumption of a polluting-free product.

And now the Coalition and the multinationals, hand in hand, are taking the credit, and taxpayers' money is tightly squeezed between the hands - while the Australian initiator and producer of ethanol doesn't even get a mention! Maybe with the coming federal election, wheat and cane farmers should keep this in mind.

William R. Smith,
Palmwoods, Qld

Qld election


Some of your readers may be puzzled by the low Queensland statewide percentage vote for the Christian Democratic Party, as depicted in your chart (March 10, 2001).

The CDP Queensland branch had a number of endorsed candidates, however, their nomination forms were rejected by Queensand electoral officials on technicalities. Only one identical nomination form was accepted, so CDP had only one CDP candidate in the Queensland State Election, hence the low State percentage.

Rev Fred Nile,
Hon National President, Christian Democratic Party,
Sydney, NSW

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