THE FEDERAL government is opening its in-tray to suggestions and feedback on strategies to grow Australia’s low carbon liquid fuel (LCLF) industry.

The government has launched a four-week consultation period inviting views on ways to incorporate and incentivise local investment in LCLF, particularly in the transport sector.

It believes a domestic LCLF industry would produce sustainable fuels to support emissions reductions in maritime, aviation, heavy vehicle and rail sectors.

LCLF is a priority sector in the government’s $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia package, the details of which were outlined in the 2024-25 Federal Budget – a commitment welcomed by Maritime Industry Australia. The budget contained a number of measures to support LCLF, including $18.5 million over four years to develop a certification scheme for these fuels.

The government said advanced biofuels, such as sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel, are compatible with existing fuel infrastructure and can be produced from feedstocks including municipal solid wastes and agricultural crops, some of which are currently exported.

 “An Australian low carbon liquid fuel industry will make great use of existing resources, create new jobs in our regions, and provide the drop in fuel solutions our transport sector needs to assist them on their decarbonisation journey,” federal minister for infrastructure and transport Catherine King said.

“Our country currently exports a significant amount of canola and tallow each year, which is used to produce biofuels in Europe. As part of our government’s commitment to a Future Made in Australia, we should be producing it right here, on our shores.”

Australia’s transport industry is the third largest source of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 21% of emissions in 2023. In 2021-22, Australia’s maritime sector emitted approximately two million tonnes of greenhouse gas, accounting for 2.2% of Australia’s transport emissions.

Climate change and energy Minister Chris Bowen said, “Liquid fuels make up around half of our final national energy use, and are especially vital in our hard to electrify sectors like aviation, shipping and construction machinery.”

Ms King shared further detail on the consultation process during a visit to GrainCorp’s Carrington terminal in Newcastle on Thursday (13 June). She was joined by federal member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon and GrainCorp CEO Robert Spurway.

Ms Claydon said LCLF “is such an important part of the decarbonisation of our transport sector now”.

“This is really great news for not just the aviation sector, which is screaming out for renewables, but also our heavy transport sector and, indeed, marine services,” she said.

And Mr Spurway said GrainCorp considers the consultation a huge opportunity for the whole sector.  

“It’s an opportunity for the agriculture sector to supply feedstocks to meet the objectives the government set out on a transition to a low carbon economy, particularly in the transport space for sustainable aviation fuel and biodiesel,” he said.

The government has invited stakeholders and the public to participate in the consultation via an online portal, available here.