SUGAR farms from Bundaberg to Mackay will become central to a Palmer United Party plan to ensure 10% of motor vehicles run on ethanol by 2016.

Party leader Clive Palmer also has set a target for 25% of vehicles to run on ethanol by 2020.

"We want to establish this area from here to Bundaberg to process ethanol and provide clean energy for Australian vehicles," he said, speaking in Mackay with Dawson candidate Ian Ferguson.

"This region has been neglected for too long by the initial parties.

"We've got a great opportunity to revitalise the sugar industry, revitalise agriculture but also to provide jobs for our young people."

Mr Palmer said Australia lagged behind other countries when it came to addressing climate change issues.

He said the Australian sugar price was not as competitive as it used to be but, rather than let infrastructure go to waste, this self-sufficient fuel option could save the industry.

"It affects jobs right across the country, not just here, it also affects our environmental standards and helps us meet all of the goals of Kyoto," he said.

Katter's Australia Party has spoken regularly about using more ethanol but Mr Palmer said he was setting clear targets.

Mr Palmer also announced $50 million to promote the Mackay region as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.

"It's money that needs to be spent telling the world about the place we've got here," he said.

"Remember the campaigns last century of Paul Hogan putting a shrimp on the barbie and what that did for North Queensland.

"We want to recreate that and that money will hopefully be matched by industry and we'll have a $100 million campaign going right around the world telling people how great the Barrier Reef is and having it based right here in Mackay."



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