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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

 

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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

31 January 2004

Protecting Oil Recyclers and the Environment


Oil recyclers and the environment will continue to benefit under an amendment to the Product Stewardship (Oil) Regulations 2000, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, announced today.

In response to a review of all excise regulations, changes to the Excise Tariff Act 1921 - scheduled to take affect from 1 February 2004 - will remove excise exemptions for some oil recyclers. To ensure all oil recyclers receive equal treatment, Dr Kemp will recommend an amendment to the Product Stewardship (Oil) Regulations 2000.

"The Government is preparing new regulations to create a new benefit category under the Product Stewardship (Oil) Regulations 2000 to ensure that producers of Blended Light Fuel Oil continue to receive an equivalent level of benefit and will not be disadvantaged," Dr Kemp said.

Blended Light Fuel Oil is a re-refined product made from recycled used oil. It is primarily used as a start-up fuel in power stations. Using recycled oil reduces power stations' reliance on 'virgin' crude oil, preserves precious oil resources, strengthens the market for used oil and diminishes the risk of environmental damage.

"Oil recycling is a growing industry that needs to be nurtured and protected," Dr Kemp said.

"Used engine oil is a major environmental and health concern. Each year around 100 million litres of used oil is unaccounted for when most of it could be safely recycled and re-used.

"Under the Product Stewardship Oil program, the Australian Government has funded almost 700 used oil recycling facilities around the country and our national oil recycling rate has increased substantially. We are working with manufacturers to build a sustainable industry in re-refined oil.

"The proposed amendment to the Product Stewardship (Oil) Regulations 2000 will give recyclers the confidence to continue investing in new re-refining technologies. It is the Government's intention that recyclers do not face new unexpected costs as a result of the proposed changes in excise."

For more information on how to recycle used oil or where to purchase recycled oil, visit www.deh.gov.au/industry/waste/oilrecycling/index.html

Commonwealth of Australia