Labor is fast-tracking the timeline for Australia to phase out dirty petrol to ensure we meet cleaner global standards — but it will come at a short term financial cost.

Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen has announced the nation’s fuel supplies will need to be replaced with petrol which has a lower sulfuric acid level by 2024, instead of 2027.

“Australia has some of the worst petrol in the world, the dirtiest petrol in the world,” he told Nine News.

“Why wait three years longer than we need to?”

The current sulphur content in unleaded fuel is 150 ppm (parts per million), which is 15 times the global standard.

By 2024, the change will see fuel carry 10 ppm of sulphur. The change affects regular unleaded fuel.

Labor expects this will see each household pay $8 extra over three years as the country makes the transition to cleaner fuel.

Mr Bowen said the cost would go unnoticed.

“People won’t even notice the impact, it is so small over a long period of time,” he said.

Labor claims it will also reduce pressure on the health system by $840 million over a three-year period.

Mr Bowen said it would help people with asthma and respiratory conditions as they will not be exposed to dirty petrol fumes.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries CEO Tony Weber told Nine: “Even places like China and India have higher quality fuel than Australia.”

The new move comes as Australian motorists are still feeling hip pocket pain from the rising cost of petrol as one of many cost of living pressures.

A small number of petrol retailers are also being investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for not passing on the government’s temporary 20-cent cut to fuel excise, despite the tax cut being passed on in the “vast majority of locations”.

With petrol prices more than $2 a litre in most capital cities, Treasurer Jim Chalmers has warned the cut will not be extended when it is due to return to the full levy of 44.2 cents per litre on September 28.

Dr Chalmers has also warned petrol companies not passing on wholesale price drops to consumers.

“The service stations shouldn’t be treating drivers as mugs,” he said.

News Corp has contacted Mr Bowen for comment.

Extracted in full form: Australian fuel costs: New changes to clean up dirty petrol by 2024 | The Courier Mail