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20 February 2004
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, has appointed Dr Brian Robinson to chair the panel undertaking the first review of the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000. The review will commence early in 2004.
As head of the Victorian Environment Protection Authority from 1986-2002, Dr Robinson has been at the forefront of environmental protection for almost two decades. He has a strong record of progressing environmental improvement through cooperation with industry, and with world's best practice in regulatory measures.
The Howard Government's Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 established the first national regulations to ensure consistent fuel quality across Australia. The standards have been progressively introduced since 1 January 2002. This review provides an early opportunity to ask whether the Act is meeting the Government's objectives for fuel quality standards, and in particular whether it works effectively in developing standards for emerging and alternative fuels.
The review will be asking whether the quality of fuel supplied in Australia today meets our standards, whether the cleaner fuels which underpin the introduction of improved vehicle technologies are consistently available, and whether consumers are benefiting from regulation of fuel quality.
As the independent chair, Dr Robinson has a broad mandate to inquire into the operation of the Act. As well as looking at the big picture, Dr Robinson will report on how well the legislation operates from day to day: what is the level of compliance with the legislation? Is compliance encouraged by reasonable and practical requirements placed on the industry? Does the legislation convey the need for all fuel suppliers to take responsibility for fuel quality? Has the legislation had any unanticipated impacts, positive or negative? Are fuel suppliers able to understand, and meet, their obligations under the Act?
Through this review, stakeholders have a golden opportunity to make constructive comment on the operation of the Act.
Written submissions can be forwarded to Ms Susan Levett, Clean Fuels and Vehicles Section, Department of the Environment and Heritage, GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written submissions must be received by 5pm on Friday 16 April 2004.
Other members of the review panel will be drawn from the Environment and Industry portfolios, and the Australian Government Solicitor.
Stakeholders will be able to access details of the review through the 'Clean Fuels Bulletin' at http://www.deh.gov.au/atmosphere/cleaner-fuels/bulletin/index.html.