Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with (from left) QUT Associate Professor Ian O'Hara and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert at the Racecourse Mill biofuel pilot plant last year, yesterday committed to building a new renewable energy industry.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with (from left) QUT Associate Professor Ian O'Hara and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert at the Racecourse Mill biofuel pilot plant last year, yesterday committed to building a new renewable energy industry. Photo: Emily Smith / The Daily M

New industry could create "thousands of jobs"

BIOFUELS are set to be Queensland's next boom industry.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government planned to use experience gained from building the liquid natural gas industry to develop a new biofuel industry.

Ms Palaszczuk said her government would be setting up a Biofutures Investment Fund in the next budget to help create a new sector.

In an exclusive interview with APN Newsdesk she said companies including Qantas and Virgin had shown interest in partnering with the Queensland Government to develop the industry.

Ms Palaszczuk said alongside major airlines, the US Navy's "Green Fleet" had expressed interest in using Queensland-made biofuels.

The Green Fleet has been designed to test the strategic and tactical viability of biofuels.

"I had six ministers in Sarina, we had Qantas and we had Virgin under the one roof. And they want to partner with us and private enterprise and see Queensland become a headquarters for biofuels," she said.

"We're going to set up a Biofutures Investment Fund. More details to be revealed about that in the budget. But we're putting in place the building blocks to grow this brand new industry."

She said the development of the gas industry provided a template for how to establish a new sector.

"And for people who say 'Oh it can't be done', I draw them back to the LNG industry.

"I can remember being a minister in the former (Beattie-Bligh) government (and) people were putting these ideas around - 'Oh no, it's too hard, it's too hard'. Government worked with private industry to grow a band new sector."

Ms Palaszczuk said a potential biofuels industry could create "thousands of jobs up and down the coast" and support sugar cane and sorghum farmers.


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