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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3152

Dr Blewett asked the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, upon notice, on 2 April 1980:

Is he aware of recent accidents, both in the United States of America and Australia, involving exploding butane cigarette lighters; if so (a) does the Government intend to cooperate in the investigations being carried out by the New South Wales Government into the safety of butane cigarette lighters and (b) does he consider that sufficient grounds exist for banning the sale of such lighters.

Mr Garland - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

I am aware of reports, both in the United States of America and Australia, of accidents which have allegedly involved exploding butane cigarette lighters.

These reports have been investigated by the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs and the Commonwealth/ State Consumer Products Advisory Committee (CSCPAC) which comprises Commonwealth, State and Territory consumer affairs officials. CSCPAC has received advice from NSW Government officials who have undertaken tests into the safety aspects of butane cigarette lighters. These tests have not indicated any product safety hazard for butane cigarette lighters except for some valve failures with one brand of lighter which has now been withdrawn from sale.

On the present evidence available, action to ban the supply of butane cigarette lighters would not appear to be justified. The Department of Business and Consumer Affairs will continue to investigate any complaints should they arise and if action to ban the supply of these goods appears necessary I will re-examine the matter.

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