Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts home page

About us | Contact us | Publications

header imagesheader imagesheader images

Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Improving the Quality of Australian Transport Fuels fact sheet cover

Before you download

Most publications are available as PDF files. Adobe Acrobat Reader  is required to view PDF files.

If you are unable to access a publication, please contact us to organise a suitable alternative format.

Improving the Quality of Australian Transport Fuels

Department of the Environment and Heritage

PDF file

The Goal

To reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from transport in Australia and overseas by improving fuel quality standards.

The Challenge

The transport sector is the single largest contributor to Australia’s urban air pollution and one of the largest contributors to national greenhouse emissions. Mandatory vehicle emission standards were established as Australian Design Rules, which are nationally applicable, under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989. The quality of fuel is a key constraint to enabling the implementation of these new vehicle emission standards.

This case study

This case study outlines Australia’s approach to regulating and improving fuel standards, both domestically and internationally. The main objectives were to:

How did we make it happen?

Fuel standards have been developed in Australia through technical research and industry/stakeholder consultation, leading to new legislation. In 2002 the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 introduced fuel quality standards for petrol and automotive diesel. A downstream compliance regime was also established.

A Consultative Committee was established to provide advice and expertise in the process of fuel standard development. The Committee includes representatives from the Australian Government, States and Territories, fuel producers, environment bodies, consumer interest groups, the automotive manufacturing industry, independent fuel importers and suppliers, the alternative and renewable fuels industry and the trucking industry.

To assist other nations develop similar fuel standards and reduce pollution from motor vehicles, Australia hosted and funded a Fuel Quality Strategy Training Workshop (2003).

Participants from five Asian countries (Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh) attended the workshop, which focused on improving fuel quality of gasoline and diesel and was part of the Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities.

How far have we come?

There have been a number of developments in improving fuel quality in Australia and overseas, including:

What have we learnt?

The success of Australia’s fuel standard initiatives is based on strong policy settings and awareness of technological development. Consultation was vital in developing and implementing fuel standards – without an understanding of the importance of the issue, it is difficult to gain public and industry support. As the impacts of transport pollution and emissions are global in nature, it is essential to assist other countries and harness available resources and expertise in order to achieve the goals of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information please refer to the following website/s: