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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

11 August 2003

Exemptions for Oil Industry Levy

Federal Minister for the Environment, Dr David Kemp MP, today welcomed the passage of legislation exempting oil products that cannot be recycled and that pose only a low risk to the environment from a levy under the Product Stewardship for Oil Program.

"In response to concerns from industry, Parliament has passed the Product Stewardship (Oil) Legislation Amendment Act (No. 1) 2003 to ensure that certain products are exempt from the Product Stewardship (Oil) (PSO) levy," Dr Kemp said.

"The PSO Act established a product stewardship scheme for lubricating oil from 1 January 2001, aiming to ensure the environmentally sustainable management and re-refining of used oil.

"The scheme involves a levy of 5.449 cents per-litre on oil to fund recycling and reuse projects. Benefits are paid at a rate that reflects their environmental value. The Government aims to ensure that no 'eligible' lubricant escapes the levy and that no oil is levied twice. This amending legislation will exempt certain oils or uses of oils, which are outside the original policy intent from payment of the levy," Dr Kemp said.

"Oils such as those used in the manufacture of printing inks have already been identified as suitable for exemption.

"There has been extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders and industry associations who support the proposed changes," Dr Kemp said.

"I will soon be able to announce the specific oils and end-uses which will be eligible for exemption."

The exemptions will take the form of a benefit payment, known as category 8, which is equivalent to the PSO levy.

Eligibility to claim a benefit under category 8 for the initial exemptions will be backdated to 27 March 2003 to ensure that the affected companies are provided relief as soon as possible.

The Australian Government has funded 458 waste oil collection facilities through grants to 270 local government organisations worth a total of more than $6 million since the PSO program began in 2001.

Commonwealth of Australia