Fuel Standard (Petrol) Determination 2001 and the Fuel Standard (Automotive Diesel) Determination 2001

Regulation Impact Statement
Environment Australia, 2001

7.Consultation

The process for developing national fuel quality standards commenced with the Fuel Quality Review. The final report from the Review was released in March 2000. In order to assess the potential impacts of new fuel quality specifications on all stakeholders, including Australian refineries, vehicle manufacturers and consumers and taking into account the objectives of the regulators, it was necessary to obtain a high level of cooperation from stakeholders.

During April and May 1999, the Review team consulted with a broad range of stakeholders including many within government, the automotive industry and the petroleum industry, to solicit views on future fuel quality scenario development. Details of the consultation process conducted for the Review are outlined in the RIS provided in the Explanatory Memorandum for the Fuel Quality Standards Act 2000.

The findings of the Fuel Quality Review assisted the process for developing proposals for petrol and diesel fuel standards. The Commonwealth released three discussion papers in early May 2000 for a two-month public comment period with submissions requested by 30 June 2000. During the two month public consultation period, the Commonwealth held face to face meetings with stakeholders in the jurisdictions. The main objective of these meetings was to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss the proposals presented in the discussion papers and any issues of concern relating to the proposed standards or the process for implementing them. These meetings were not just confined to the formal consultation period. The Commonwealth also met with stakeholders at any time a meeting was requested to discuss issues of concern. A list of stakeholders consulted is attached.

In September 2000, a revised Commonwealth position was released for a short consultation period. The paper was distributed to those stakeholders that had provided comments on the initial proposal. The revised position attempted to address concerns and issues raised by stakeholders. Some standards were further amended to address additional concerns, particularly issues raised by independent importers.

Discussion Paper 2 and the revised proposal noted that the Commonwealth commissioned a review of chemical octane enhancers to inform its position on their management and use in petrol. This independent literature review and analysis was released for public comment in November 2000 as Discussion Paper 2A. It was accompanied by a short discussion paper outlining the Commonwealth's response to the findings of the review and presented a preliminary position for the management of these products. Face to face meetings were also held with stakeholders who wished to discuss issues of concern.

Table 6 lists the papers released by the Commonwealth to facilitate public consultation on the setting of petrol and diesel fuel quality standards. The table also indicates when these papers were publicly released.

The discussion under Section 6 above on the impacts of each option provides an analysis of the issues that have been raised by stakeholders. The Commonwealth undertook to ensure that the process for development of the standards was open and transparent and that all stakeholders were given the opportunity to discuss issues of concern.

Table 6: Commonwealth discussion papers on setting national fuel quality standards
No. Title Released
  Review of Fuel Quality Requirements for Australian Transport (Volumes 1 and 2) March 2000
1 Summary Report of the Review of Fuel Quality Requirements for Australian Transport May 2000
2. Proposed Standards for Fuel Parameters (Petrol and Diesel) May 2000
2A Management of Petrol Octane Enhancing Additives/Products November 2000
3 Proposed Model for Standards Implementation May 2000
  Proposed Standards for Fuel Parameters (Petrol and Diesel) - Revised Commonwealth Position September 2000