The Federal Government has introduced regulation of the quality of petrol and diesel fuel in Australia.
The principal drivers of the fuel quality regulation are environmental. The adoption of emerging vehicle engine and emission control technologies is a key strategy in the management of ambient air pollution and air toxics, particularly in urban areas, and of greenhouse gas emissions. It is a goal of the Government that vehicle emission standards be harmonised with international standards.
These technologies require fuels that conform tightly to certain identified specifications. The new fuel standards for petrol and diesel have been established to meet these specifications. The standards are to be implemented progressively over the decade, with timing in line with the introduction of new engine and emission control technologies.
More information on fuel quality standards, both in Australia and in the Asia-Pacific region, see:
Fuel Quality Standards
The Commonwealth Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 provides a legislative framework for setting national fuel quality and fuel quality information standards for Australia.
Fuel quality standards have been made for Petrol, Diesel, Biodiesel and Autogas.
For more details on the regulated specifications that apply to fuels, see:
The Fuel Standards Consultative Committee
The Fuel Standards Consultative Committee is established under the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000 (the Act) as a formal consultation mechanism.
The Act requires that the Committee include one representative of each State and Territory Government, and the Australian Government. It must also include at least one person representing fuel producers, a non-government body with an interest in the protection of the environment, and a person representing the interests of consumers. The Committee held its first meeting in July 2001. The Committee usually meets twice a year and works in between these meetings.
Under the Act, the Minister must have regard to the Committee's recommendations about a range of matters. The Minister must consult the Committee before:
- determining a fuel standard or fuel quality information standard;
- granting an approval to vary a fuel standard for a specified period;
- changing the contents of the Register of Prohibited Fuel Additives; and
- preparing guidelines for more stringent fuel standards which may apply in specified areas in Australia. None have yet been made.
AIP is the representative for fuel producers on FSCC.