Australian efforts to clean air travel get $30m boost

Australian efforts to make air travel greener have received a major lift with the establishment of a Jet Zero Council and $30 million in grants to support an eco-friendly fuel industry.

Airlines, airports, manufacturers, fuel suppliers and government agencies will team up to establish Australia as a global leader in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The changes announced on Wednesday came as Australian start-up Dovetail, backed by regional airline Rex, also revealed plans to use hydrogen fuel-cell technology in its latest efforts to create zero-emission planes. 

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King announced the launch of the Jet Zero Council and its membership following an industry talks in February.

“We are formalising the membership of council so that we can begin that work of not only building a SAF industry here in Australia but also... look at reducing emissions,” she said.

“We know Australians love to fly, aviation has come roaring back. But we have our part to play very much in getting to net zero and getting that important target which is now legislated."

The council - which will include representatives from Qantas, Virgin, Boeing, Airbus, BP and airport corporations - is expected to support cuts to aviation emissions and provide advice to government agencies on creating a sustainable aviation fuel industry.

Worldwide, aviation firms have committed to achieving net-zero emission by 2050 with 65 per cent of emission cuts expected to come from the use of sustainable fuel.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency also announced it would invest $30 million in local businesses producing aviation biofuel, to be made from forestry and agricultural waste as well as used cooking oil.

Energy Minister Chris Bowen said a local SAF industry could create thousands of jobs while reducing Australian airlines' dependence on imported fuels.

"The world’s climate emergency is Australia’s jobs opportunity... a homegrown sustainable aviation fuels industry could create more than 7400 jobs by 2030, most of them in regional areas,” he said.

"Australia’s strong agricultural sector means we could be a global leader by scaling up domestic production of renewable fuel for exports."

Bioenergy Australia chief executive Shahana McKenzie welcomed the changes on Wednesday, saying they could help to reduce hurdles for producers and accelerate investments in the industry.

"Australia has the opportunity to play a leading role in the deployment of sustainable aviation fuels for the region," she said.

The announcements also came as local start-up Dovetail Electric Aviation announced it had signed a deal with Hyundai to use the company's hydrogen fuel-cell system in a future zero-emissions plane.

Dovetail chief executive David Doral said the use of hydrogen technology could create "innovative solutions for a sustainable future in aviation".

The company is expected to test the technology in flights next year.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store