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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
9 January 2003
Labor is wrong in accusing the Government of "refusing to tell anybody" about ethanol blends in petrol in the marketplace.
The information has been publicly available since before Christmas.
On December 17 the Government released data relating to ethanol content in petrol that it collected from a survey of petrol outlets around the country. The data shows that blends containing more than 10 per cent ethanol content are on sale, mainly in New South Wales.
The Federal Government then called on State Governments to require labelling of ethanol blends at petrol outlets, as motorists have the right to know what they are buying.
Cabinet decided that if the States refused to institute proper labelling, the Commonwealth will legislate to give itself the power to require labelling when Parliament resumes this year.
In October, Environment Minister David Kemp distributed these results to State Ministers and urged the Carr Government in particular to use its consumer labelling powers to require labelling of ethanol blends.
At present, only State governments have the legislative power to require labelling. Federal Labor should be calling on the Carr Government to use that power.
A copy of Dr Kemp's December 17 statement can be located on the website at http://www.ea.gov.au/minister/env/2002/mr17dec02.html. The information has been on the Environment Australia website www.ea.gov.au since that date.
Copies of the literature review based assessment on the impacts of a 20% ethanol gasoline fuel blend on the Australian vehicle fleet can be found at: www.ea.gov.au/atmosphere/transport/fuel/ethanol-report.html.
Catherine Job 0408 648 400