THE HON JENNY MACKLIN MP
Minister for Families, Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
November 8 2010
The Gillard Labor Government is stepping up its push to curb petrol sniffing in regional and remote communities – making the low aromatic Opal fuel available in Kakadu National Park for the first time.
The Kakadu rollout is part of a $83.8 million Australian Government commitment to tackle petrol sniffing, which includes the expansion of Opal fuel to at least 39 new retail sites across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland. Opal is already available in 106 sites around Australia.
Opal fuel will be available at the same price as regular unleaded petrol and will be supplied to the Kakadu region from early December 2010.
There have been extensive consultations with key stakeholders and fuel retailers in the Kakadu region, which has encouraged widespread support of Opal fuel.
A tailored communication campaign, including print and radio advertisements, as well as facts sheets, brochures and posters, will be delivered to help the Kakadu community prepare for the switchover.
The Government and BP Australia will also hold a series of Opal Information Days across Darwin and Kakadu National Park from 22 November to assure motorists that Opal fuel is safe to use in both car and boat engines and provide information on how Opal fuel is helping to keep communities safer.
“Opal fuel works. Where it has been introduced around Australia, there has been a significant decrease in petrol sniffing. In some regions the introduction of Opal fuel has reduced petrol sniffing up to 94 per cent,” Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said.
“The impact of petrol sniffing goes much wider than its immediate effects on the health and wellbeing of the sniffer. Vandalism, thefts and domestic violence are all part of the economic and social devastation it causes on communities,” Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon said.
“Petrol sniffing can destroy lives. Opal fuel helps to save them,” he said.
For more details on the community Opal Information Days starting from 22 November, go to www.health.gov.au/stoppetrolsniffing or call 02 6289 9069.
Keely Bell (Macklin) 0417 297 157
Alice Plate (Snowdon) 0400 045 999