Image Upload

File size must be less than 2Mb

You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image

File types (jpg, png, gif)

  • Hero image
    Member for Mallee Anne Webster.

Anne Webster: Push for Australian made

By Nick Ridley

Member for Mallee Anne Webster is confident a national plan to mitigate the impact of a shortage of a critical agricultural fuel supplement is progressing strongly.

Dr Webster said it was imperative the production of diesel-emission-reduction additive AdBlue occurred onshore in Australia.

“The ability to trust an Australian producer, particularly with something as critical as AdBlue, will mean that Australian trucking companies, farmers and people who drive diesel cars like me, will know that they can buy it on Australian soil,” she said.

Article continues below

In December last year, Federal Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor led a taskforce with chemical experts and struck a deal with fertiliser company Incitec Pivot to produce urea in Australia.

The company has increased its production of AdBlue by about 800 percent.

Mr Taylor said at the time, global supply pressures streaming from increased domestic use in China had led to international issues in securing refined urea, a key ingredient for AdBlue.

Minyip-Donald farmer and Victorian Farmers Federation Grains Council member Ryan Milgate is among farming representatives to have spoken about the need for AdBlue to legally meet diesel-engine requirements.

“The supply seems to be better, but the price of AdBlue has gone through the roof,” he said.

“It was about 90 cents last year and now it’s about $2.70 a litre.”

Urea producers

Mr Milgate said having onshore producers of urea in Australia was a must.

“The issue is when the supply-chain resumes in countries like China, as consumers we become our worst enemies, we will buy anything that we think is cheap,” he said.

“But when supply is short, we say ‘why don’t we make it in Australia?’”

Dr Webster said if producers of urea such as China continued their production of the chemical, individuals should have the choice to buy the product from Australia or China.

“Producers such as trucking companies are interested in prices, but they are also interested in security – where we are with China right now, it’s insecure,” she said.
Dr Webster said Incitec Pivot in late January produced more than three-million- litres of AdBlue representing about 75 percent of Australia’s AdBlue needs.

“It doesn’t matter what you are producing or buying, with China you never know when they will pull the rug from underneath your feet,” she said.

Dr Webster said chemical companies saw exporting to an international market more profitable than a domestic market.

“Things need to shift for us to be able to improve our supply chain, that will improve our self-reliance as a nation,” she said.

“We have had a paradigm shift in the past two years because of COVID-19, which has created the necessity and the need for Australia to have its own supply chain.”

Dr Webster has also welcomed production of urea as a fertiliser in Australia, again promoting the concept of an Australian-made product. 

She was responding to the announcement of $4.3 billion Federal Government project to convert Australian gas into about two million tonnes of urea each year.

The entire February 9, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!