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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

27 March 2000


Australia is playing its part in the global push for cleaner, more efficient transport with today’s release of the Review of Fuel Quality Requirements for Australian Transport.

“The Review shows that Australia has the opportunity to achieve important reductions in emissions of all of the significant air pollutants by adopting international standard vehicle and fuel technologies,” said Federal Environment Minister, Robert Hill

“The Government has already taken the first step by gazetting new design rules for motor vehicles. It is now time to meet our commitment to raise Australian fuel standards.

“The Government’s goal is to ensure that the fuel available to Australian consumers is appropriate to the high technology emissions controls which will be progressively introduced by the vehicle industry.

“New generation catalytic systems, particle traps and fuel injection systems in vehicles are all sensitive to the fuel used. Without cleaner fuel, the benefits of the technology are reduced, or lost.

“The Government is also identifying changes to fuel which will have direct benefits for air quality.

“The Review shows that there will be costs associated with cleaning up fuels. Refineries will need to invest substantially to meet the standards that are now internationally accepted.

“The Review is being released as the first stage in a public consultation process which will lead to the setting of new fuel standards. Discussion papers drawing on the findings of the Review will be released for comment in the next few weeks.

“The Howard Government has introduced a range of initiatives aimed at reducing the impact of vehicles on the Australian environment. This review demonstrates that improvements to fuel will lead to, for example, a drop of up to 50 per cent in particulate emissions over the next 20 years in some Australian cities. This equates to a great increase in quality of life and health for all Australians.”

The Review of Fuel Quality Requirements, conducted by Coffey Geosciences Pty Ltd for Environment Australia, models the impact of six scenarios for Australian fuel quality. These scenarios range from ‘business as usual’ to some of the most stringent standards currently proposed internationally.

For each scenario, the Review forecasts vehicle fleet emissions of the six most significant ambient (outdoor) air pollutants and air toxics for the period to 2020. The Review also estimates the economic costs of each of the scenarios. These findings will provide the basis for a Commonwealth position on the appropriate standards for Australian circumstances.

Copies of the Review can be found at and will be available for sale at Ausinfo bookshops in the near future.

March 27, 2000

Media contacts
Rod Bruem (Senator Hill) (02) 6277 7640 0419 258 364
Kathleen Mackie (Environment Australia) (02) 6274 1625 0411 132 617
Environment Australia 1800 803 772

Commonwealth of Australia