The highest level of persistent petrol sniffing is occurring in Western Australia, a Senate inquiry in Alice Springs has heard.
The inquiry is looking at the Low Aromatic Fuel Bill, introduced by the Australian Greens, which would mandate the sale of non-sniffable Opal fuel in communities at risk.
The Greens told the inquiry today that Australia’s most acute petrol sniffing problem was in the Ngaanyatjarra Aboriginal community in WA, near the South Australia/Northern Territory border.
The Greens said local community service organisations had reported up to 70 per cent of people aged under 25 in the area had had some contact with petrol sniffing.
The party’s senator for WA, Rachel Siewert, said she had heard at the inquiry that there was a need for better responses to the crisis, but a major stumbling block was the ongoing access to unleaded regular fuel.
“The evidence we’ve heard over the past two days clearly shows that controlling access to sniffable fuel can have a significant impact on the ability of communities to prevent harm coming to their young people,” Senator Siewert said.“Petrol sniffing does not contain itself within state borders, any more than travellers through these areas do, so clearly there needs to be a national approach to mandating fuel supply in designated zones, rather than leaving it up to individual states and territories as the federal government has previously proposed.”
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.