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Landline - Ethanol Special 2006 (2006)


Landline has put together a special bulletin about ethanol which presents both a history and a current snapshot of Australia’s position in relation to its use here. The program also presents a picture from around the world with regard to alternative fuels, especially in the United States and Brazil, the world leaders.

Curator’s notes

Landline is the ABC’s weekly television current affairs program on rural issues. Normally structured as a magazine program, it also offers a news round-up of issues affecting farmers, as well as weather and market reports in each program. Because this is a Landline Special, the program deals exclusively with the single topic of biofuels.

Landline produced this television special about alternative fuels at a time when the Middle East was unstable and the price of oil was skyrocketing. Country people depend on reasonably priced fuel, so the issue of alternative fuels such as ethanol was (and is) of enormous interest to them. The program provides a snapshot of the situation in the United States and Brazil, both rapidly developing alternatives to fossil fuels. There’s even a story that GMH in Australia is manufacturing ethanol-capable cars out of Melbourne and selling them straight into Brazil. They’re simply not available to use here.

The use of simple graphics, and great interview material, combined with a well-told story make this an excellent and effective round-up of the issues.

Sally Sara is the presenter of the weekly Landline program while the reporter for the ethanol special, Prue Adams, works out of Adelaide. There are reporters working for Landline in each state so that the program retains a strongly national flavour.