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

17 August 2001

Murray getting the 'good oil' on recycling

Many residents of Murray may not be aware that the old waste oil that has been sitting in the backyard, shed or garage is now being targeted for recycling, following the introduction of new oil stewardship laws by the Federal Government this year.

To ensure local input was fed into the national process Federal Member for Murray Sharman Stone nominated Campaspe Shire Councillor Cathie Halliday, who forms part of the Oil Stewardship Advisory Council.

"Cathie's contribution means that the special circumstances of regional Victorian are well represented and we have the best possible advice on how to make sure that the 70% of oil that is presently unaccounted for each year, makes its way to a depot for recycling or is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way", Sharman Stone said.

"The Federal Government is also examining how to improve waste oil collection in rural, regional and remote areas, where it has been uneconomic in the past for companies to collect used oil. The Committee is studying ways to improve and expand collection points for rural communities".

Sharman Stone aims to have as many Murray electorate representatives as possible on national councils and advisory bodies. She has ensured that Leon Atkinson is Victoria's representative on the National Indigenous Advisory Council and Ross Turnbull is a member of National Biodiversity Advisory Council.

Both of these bodies provide expert advice to the Minister on new environmental laws.

The oil recycling program is being funded by a small levy on each litre of oil produced with the overall cost of oil to the consumer no higher, following the scrapping of Wholesale Sales Tax in July 2000.

"Before the new system started 370 megalitres of oil was unaccounted for every year. We want to make sure that used sump oil does not end up in a tip, dumped on the side of the road or end up in a waterway", Sharman Stone said.

"We are also encouraging recyclers to manufacture waste oil products. Benefits are paid on a sliding scale based on environmental effectiveness so that the more the oil is refined, the greater the benefit paid".

Sharman Stone said the new oil disposal arrangements were attracting widespread interest in the Murray electorate.

"Many people have been contacting my office asking what they can do with their 44 gallon drums full of used sump oil. In the old days, sump oil was sometimes used for dust suppression on roads or to paint outside wooden structures like yards and fences. The Federal Government is now providing greater incentive for recyclers to pick up used oil, keeping our local environment clean and green".

For further information contact:
Simon Frost 0419 495 468
August 17th 2001

Commonwealth of Australia