Unsniffable petrol will remain the only car fuel sold in dozens of remote towns and communities for at least three more years, following a federal government deal with two energy companies.
The National Indigenous Australians Agency will spend up to $40m to ensure low-aromatic fuel continues to be available in 185 isolated communities in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland as a way of reducing the harmful effects of petrol sniffing. The rollout began in 2005.
Through a competitive process, Viva Energy Australia has been selected to supply northern parts of Australia and BP Australia will supply across the south.
Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt said replacing regular petrol with low-aromatic fuel had been incredibly effective at reducing rates of petrol sniffing.
“Independent research released last year showed there had been a 95.2 per cent reduction of petrol sniffing since 2007 in 11 surveyed communities,” he said.