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Media Release For Immediate Release 5th August 1999

Shame NSW! WA The First To Go Totally Unleaded

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The Western Australian premier has just announced that from January 1, 2000 all petrol sold in that state will no longer contain lead. Environmental groups in NSW, whilst applauding the WA move, have expressed amazement that their government has no plans to eliminate the lead from petrol, waiting instead for a federal initiative. The NSW government has persisted in ignoring the advice to ban lead in petrol in 1996 given by the ‘lead in petrol working group’ of the governments’ own lead taskforce.

A coalition of groups including The LEAD Group, the Total Environment Centre, Smogbusters, the Nature Conservation Council, The National Toxics Network, Healthy Cities Illawarra and Environmental Health Illawarra said in a joint statement:

"The NSW government should be ashamed about dragging its feet over the lead in petrol issue. Western Australia has shown the rest of Australia that achieving lead free petrol can be done easily and uncontroversially."

"Leaded petrol contributes to the lead burdens of all NSW children and Sydney’s excessively high dust and soil pollution levels, yet there is a distinct lack of political will to combat these problems. Such inaction has no excuse - leaded petrol sales continue to fall and additives that make unleaded petrol suitable for all cars, even vintage vehicles, are readily available."

Environment groups also commended the Western Australian efforts to reduce benzene levels in petrol and sulphur content in diesel, stating that:

"There is no reason why NSW cannot follow the WA example on cleaner fuel in the immediate future."

"The NSW government owes its citizens and particularly its children as clean an environment as possible. It is a cause for shame that our state should fail to take the easy step of removing lead from petrol when it has no reason not to do so."      ###

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Last Updated 09 March 2012
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