Department of the Environment

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Publications archive - Annual reports


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Department of the Environment and Heritage Annual Report 2002-03

Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2003
ISSN 1441 9335

Review of performance - Outcome one: Environment (continued)

Atmosphere (continued)

Fuel Quality Standards

(Departmental output 1.1)


To reduce emissions from the in-service diesel fleet through the Diesel National Environment Protection Measure; and to significantly reduce particle and smog-forming emissions in Australia's cities and facilitate the introduction of new vehicles with tighter emission controls through administering and enforcing the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000.

Measures for a Better Environment - In-service Emissions Testing Capabilities

The Department is assisting the Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW and the Brisbane City Council to implement the Diesel Vehicle Emissions National Environment Protection Measure through the test and repair of high polluting diesel vehicles. The Department has also funded the National Road Transport Commission to develop a national training module equipping diesel mechanics to tune vehicles for environmental results.

Under this program, over 1700 vehicles have been tested and more than 50 were repaired and retested. For the high-emitting vehicles that were repaired, particulate emissions improved by an average of more than 30 per cent. Repairs have often been minor and have highlighted the need to conform to manufacturers' maintenance specifications.

Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000

Implementation of the Fuel Quality Standards Act during 2002-03 involved further development of the monitoring, compliance and enforcement processes and a more strategic approach to the national fuel sampling program.

The legislation has been fully enforceable since 1 January 2002 and inspectors have been appointed under the Act to monitor compliance with the legislation. Fuel sampling is undertaken at refineries, distribution terminals, depots, service stations and other outlets. Fuel samples are tested at an accredited laboratory for compliance with the standards.

During 2002-03 117 compliance incident reports were received. A total of 862 petrol and diesel samples were taken nationally from approximately 500 sites. Of the 642 samples tested, 12 were found to be non-compliant. Overall, of the sites visited by fuel quality standards inspectors, test results indicate a high level of compliance with the standards.

Significant gains have been made in reducing sulfur in fuels under the Fuel Quality Standards Act. In 1999, diesel sulfur content was around 1300 parts per million, but with the introduction of the diesel sulfur standard in December 2002 sulfur levels are restricted to 500 parts per million.