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New supplier adds reach to low aromatic fuel rollout

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THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Indigenous Health

Monday 3 December 2012

New supplier adds reach to low aromatic fuel rollout

A new supplier of low aromatic fuel has agreed to begin production of a new product from mid-2013 to assist the Australian Government’s efforts to stamp out petrol sniffing in regional and remote communities.

The Minister for Indigenous Health, Warren Snowdon, announced today that the new arrangements would involve BP Australia and Shell Australia both producing and supplying the fuel.

“The supply of low aromatic fuel is directly contributing to reducing petrol sniffing in regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the new arrangements will boost this contribution,” Mr Snowdon said.

“From the latter half of 2013, BP Australia will continue to supply its low aromatic fuel (Opal) to Central and South Australia, and parts of Western Australia, including the West Australian Goldfields and the Ngaanyatjarra lands.

“Shell Australia will be the primary supplier of low aromatic fuel to the northern part of Australia, covering areas such as the Top End of the Northern Territory, the Gulf of Carpentaria, Cape York and East Kimberley,” he said.

New storage arrangements will also be established in the Northern Territory and north Queensland, to secure the ongoing supply of this fuel.

Mr Snowdon said the new arrangements, which see Shell Australia supplying low aromatic fuel for the first time, would help support the expanded rollout into at least 39 additional sites in northern Australia.

“The incidence of petrol sniffing has been greatly reduced as the result of the voluntary rollout of low aromatic fuel, with a 2008 evaluation showing that petrol sniffing had dropped by more than 90 per cent in areas where the fuel has been stocked.”

“Representatives from the Department of Health and Ageing are committed to continuing to work with local councils, fuel retailers and distributors, health and community services providers, and communities to discuss the benefits of the voluntary rollout of low aromatic fuel and the new arrangements,” Mr Snowdon said.

Media Contact: Marcus Butler 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796