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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 179

Senator COULTER (12.37 p.m.) —I therefore move:

5.Clause 12, page 6, paragraph (4)(h), line 14, after "hydrocarbons", insert ", including benzene and other aromatic hydrocarbons,".

The concern here was that, as I think most honourable senators would know, benzene is also an octane enhancer. Certainly in the early part of the debates last year in relation to the increased tax on leaded fuel and getting the lead out of fuel, a number of articles appeared in the newspapers suggesting that the levels of benzene may be increased to compensate for that.

  Bearing in mind that benzene, in particular, and some of the other aromatic hydrocarbons are carcinogenic agents, we did not want to have a situation where benzene may have been increased in concentration in transport fuels. While `hydrocarbons' covers `benzene', we specifically wanted to draw attention to benzene because clearly it comes under very considerable restriction in the industrial area. It should be specifically mentioned, and we are pleased that the government has accepted that. We accept its changed wording.