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The Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP
Federal Member for Murray
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister
for the Environment and Heritage

11 July 2000

Oil recyclers to share Environmental Bonus

Waste oil collectors, recyclers and users are the target of a new initiative that will reward the re-use of waste oils with a grant from the Federal Government.

Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage steered the Product Stewardship (Oil) Bill 2000 through the Parliament recently - an important step toward ensuring that the millions of litres in waste oil used in Australia each year is recycled in a responsible manner.

"Australia currently uses around 520 megalitres of oil each year, of which up to 370 megalitres is unaccounted for", Dr Stone said.

"Much of the oil that we cannot account for ends up being poured down drains, used to paint fence stumps, stockpiled in warehouses or other environmentally damaging disposal alternatives. This new Federal Government Grant will encourage and promote the recycling of used waste oil."

A volume based levy equivalent to 5c for every litre of oil produced will fund the recycling of waste oil. However, as a result of the scrapping of the 22% Wholesale Sales Tax on oil, the total price of a litre of oil is expected to fall.

"This new scheme will provide a financial incentive for waste oil to be collected, recycled and reused. This should lift the present paltry rate of waste oil recycling above 30%", Sharman Stone said.

"Importantly, the subsidy payable to recyclers will be dependent on the quality of goods produced from the waste oil. Substantially higher benefits will be paid for those recyclers who convert waste oil into lubricants, rather than burn it as fuel".

Dr Stone said that motor vehicle manufacturers in Europe and America had endorsed the use of recycled lubricant in their vehicles. Australian executives from Holden, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Ford had also responded positively to the Government's initiative.

"This measure will be particularly welcome in rural and regional areas where distance creates an extra cost barrier to the oil recycling industry. There is now greater incentive for industry to increase the level of waste oil recycling than ever before".

The new initiative is part of the Howard Government's Measures for a Better Environment package announced in May 1999. The scheme begins operation on January 1 2001.

Media Inquiries: Simon Frost 0419 495 468 or (02) 6277 2016
Tuesday July 11 2000

Commonwealth of Australia