Renee Viellaris, 09 December 2015

UNLEADED fuel will be banned on Palm Island in a bid to stop kids getting high from sniffing petrol.

Fears of widespread chroming sparked the decision by the Turnbull Government, which pays tens of millions of dollars in welfare on the island every year.

It comes as a highly placed source within the Government revealed there were also concerns Palm Island residents were sprinkling the drug ice on cannabis joints.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said a legislative instrument under the Low Aromatic Fuel Act had been registered, making the sale of the petrol on the island illegal. Non-sniffable Opal fuel will now be sold.

It is the first time an area has been designated as a low aromatic fuel area under the Act.

“The roll-out of low aromatic fuel is a high priority for the Australian Government as part of a proven strategy to reduce harmful petrol sniffing,” Senator Scullion said.

“The Legislative Instrument has come into effect and so it is now illegal to supply, transport, or possess regular unleaded petrol for supply to a person on Palm Island. If a corporation does any of these things, it will commit an offence under the Low Aromatic Fuel Act 2013 and may be fined up to $54,000 per offence.

“Stopping the sale of regular unleaded fuel will make a big impact on petrol sniffing and the damage it does to the health and safety of families on Palm Island, and will show other communities that low aromatic fuel is a better option.”

Ewen Jones, the Member for Herbert, said petrol sniffing was unacceptable.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said it was the Greens who pursued the issue and she was glad the Government had listened.

“It is fantastic to hear that the sale of regular unleaded fuel is now illegal on Palm ­Island,” Senator Siewert said.

Extracted in full from the Courier Mail.