Bill to mandate Opal fuel in remote Aust

NATIONAL: Retailers must be forced to sell Opal fuel to help combat the incidence of petrol sniffing in remote Aboriginal communities, the Australian Greens say.

Senator Rachel Siewert introduced a private bill to parliament on Thursday aimed at promoting the non-sniffable fuel.

Opal fuel discourages petrol sniffing because it does not contain the fumes that create a “high”.

Petrol sniffers are usually children or teenagers aged between 10 and 19.

The introduction of Opal fuel in 2005 has succeeded in reducing the epidemic.

In 2010, 106 Indigenous communities, roadhouses across the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland used Opal fuel

Senator Siewert said the rollout is being hampered by some retailers refusing to stock the fuel.

Her bill will ban the sale of regular unleaded petrol in certain areas.

It also will extend subsidies for non-sniffable fuel in those areas.

She said mandating Opal fuel had been a recommendation of a 2009 Senate inquiry into petrol sniffing.

Debate on the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill 2012 was adjourned.


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