THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health
Member for Lingiari
18 March 2011
No prizes for guessing what Top End fishermen will be mostly talking about at this weekend’s Kakadu Klash fishing competition.
Another important topic of conversation is expected to be the increasing use of low aromatic Opal fuel in boats as the rollout of Opal continues throughout Kakadu National Park.
Opal is unleaded petrol which has extremely low levels of aromatics, removing the ‘high’ petrol sniffers get when they sniff normal unleaded fuel.
Minister for Indigenous Health and Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon said the Australian Government and BP have teamed up to sponsor the largest fishing competition in Kakau National Park.
“It might sound like a strange concept – but Kakadu Klash is the largest fishing competition held inside Kakadu National Park and attracts both local and visiting fishing enthusiasts.
“This arrangement means that the Opal fuel logo and branding will be featured heavily at the competition and in general advertising.
“BP Australia has also provided a technical fuel expert at the competition’s briefing night and I hear local fisherman were happy to receive BP fuel cards as competition give-aways. This sponsorship will also provide a BP presence during the competition to provide information and advice about Opal fuel.
“Opal has been available in Kakadu since January, and is currently supplied Jabiru Service Station and Aurora Resort an a third fuel retail site, Cooinda Lodge, will start supplying the product within the next few weeks,” Mr Snowdon said.
In addition to this, on Monday the 21st of March the Australian Government will start a three week round of local print and radio announcements further promoting the arrival of Opal fuel to the Kakadu region
“We know that the introduction of Opal fuel in Central Australian communities resulted in a reduction of up to 94% in petrol sniffing.
“The comprehensive rollout of Opal fuel in the Kakadu region is a very significant step towards addressing petrol sniffing in the region and its serious social and economic consequences to the community,” Mr Snowdon said.
The Kakadu rollout is part of an $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.
Independent field trials conducted last year in Maningrida tested the new version of Opal with an Evinrude E-TEC 115 hp – a high-performance, two-stroke engine.
Well-known Territory angler, Alex Julius, who was involved in the trials, said the tests “demonstrated clearly that the new and improved Opal was safe to use without the need for an additional additive.”
For more details about Opal fuel and its availability in Kakadu, go to www.health.gov.au/stoppetrolsniffing
Media contact: Alice Plate 0400 045 999