A storage tank for low aromatic fuel (LAF) will be constructed in Darwin to support an expanded rollout of the Australian Government’s Petrol Sniffing Prevention Programme in the Top End.
The Government announced today it has finalised an agreement with oil and natural gas-related products company, Vopak, to establish a bulk storage facility for LAF in Darwin.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion, said the contract will enable the conversion and relocation of a biodiesel tank to store 6.5 million-litres of LAF and make it available to the Commonwealth for up to 10 years.
“Petrol sniffing is still a significant problem, particularly in the Top End,” Minister Scullion said.
“The Government is committed to reducing the devastating effects of petrol sniffing in remote Indigenous communities.
“Past evidence shows that levels of petrol sniffing decreased in communities and regions that have replaced regular unleaded petrol with low aromatic fuel.
“The expanded rollout of LAF needed a bulk storage facility in northern Australia. We can now focus on ensuring a wider distribution of LAF across the Top End.”
The announcement of the storage tank follows the recent release of preliminary findings from the Menzies School of Health Research into the prevalence of petrol sniffing in Aboriginal communities across Australia.
“We know that low aromatic fuel is the most effective prevention strategy we have in tackling petrol sniffing, which can cause permanent brain damage, asphyxiation and seizures,” Minister Scullion said.
“A comprehensive rollout of the LAF needs to be achieved. The storage tank in Darwin will provide the capacity for the petrol industry to better service the production and distribution requirements of the northern Australia market.”
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2014-01-14- Darwin LAF storage tank.pdf