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Why the delay Mr Abbott?

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Senator Bob Brown Senator for Tasmania

Why the delay Mr Abbott?

Senator Brown, 4th July 2006

18 February 2005 The Commonwealth Government today welcomed the availability of a new fuel to help reduce the harm caused by petrol sniffing in remote Indigenous communities. - Media release, Tony Abbott

19 February 2005 Mr Abbott yesterday rejected calls to supply the petrol right across central Australia. "I can understand why people would like to do that but the issue becomes where do you stop." "We can't convert the whole of Australia's petrol supplies to Opal." - Northern Territory News

1 August 2005 The Senate this afternoon backed the Greens' urgency motion calling for a roll-out of BP's vapourless 'Opal' petrol in Central Australia. The motion agreed by the Senate reads:

That, in the opinion of the Senate, the following is a matter of urgency:

The need for the Australian Government to address the scourge of petrol sniffing in Indigenous communities by implementing the comprehensive roll-out of Opal Fuel through the entire Central Desert Region'. - Senator Bob Brown

13 August 2005 "The Government's claim that it is just not realistic to have a full roll out of Opal fuel in central Australia is specious when Treasury is set to receive this $1B fuel tax windfall because of higher petrol prices.

"Petrol sniffing is a national scandal and the government's reticence to act is not acceptable. This is about hundreds of aboriginal children and young people. If it were happening in Sydney or Melbourne there would be melt down.

"Tony Abbott's criticism of people hell bent on self destruction is outrageous and should be retracted immediately." - Senator Bob Brown

14 September 2005 Northern Territory Senator Nigel Scullion has bombed the terms of reference of the Greens Senate move for an inquiry into the benefits of a roll-out of non-sniffable Opal petrol throughout Central Australia.

"This is heartless. The Scullion amendment guts my motion by removing all reference to the call for the Howard Government to fund the full roll-out of Opal fuel. His motion aims to congratulate the government and criticise Aboriginal communities." - Senator Bob Brown

14 March 2006 Tony Abbott: We are inviting communities in other parts of the country that are affect by this problem to come and tell us that they would like the un-sniffable petrol."

Tony Abbott: But we do have Opal in Alice Springs now. Eleanor Hall: But only in one petrol station. Tony Abbott: That's correct. And the reason for that is fundamentally that there is not enough Opal, because BP could not supply enough Opal to put that into every service station in Alice Springs." - The World Today.

16 March 06 "No other section of the community would be left to deal with the effects of mind-destroying drugs, so easily removable with government action."

"Mr Abbott's patronising comments that a bit of community leadership would go a long way to reduce petrol sniffing show the extent of the Minister's indifference."

"The Central Desert communities are showing leadership by asking for a full rollout of OPAL fuel, Mr Abbott. All that's missing now is a bit of leadership from the government." - Senator Bob Brown

16 May 2006 "If I saw my own kids playing with matches in the tinder-dry bush, I'd take the matches off them. And you'd think in these circumstances, responsible adults would take the petrol away from the kids that are sniffing." Tony Abbott, Lateline

17 May 06 Senator Bob Brown said new Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, should reverse the federal government's opposition to the full roll-out of unsniffable Opal petrol in Central Australia, including Alice Springs.

4 July 2006 "What we've been looking at is a roll-out of unsniffable Opal petrol everywhere in central Australia, including Alice Springs."

"Plainly, if we are going to make it as hard as possible for the sniffers, we have to do everything we can to eliminate sniffable petrol from the whole expanse of central Australia." Tony Abbott, The Australian