Review of the Low Aromatic Fuel Act 2013

The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has completed the review of the operation of the Low Aromatic Fuel Act 2013.

The review commenced with a consultation process. Ten written submissions were received from stakeholders, including state and territory governments, commonwealth governments, fuel outlets and distributors, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (or their representatives), community representatives, health service providers, police, youth services, and other individuals who have an interest in the use of low aromatic fuel. 

Read the Final Low Aromatic Fuel Act Report in full.

The Low Aromatic Fuel Act 2013

The Act was established to enable special measures to be taken to reduce the potential harm caused by petrol sniffing. The Act promotes the supply of low aromatic fuel and controls the supply of other fuels, such as regular unleaded fuel. It has been used in four locations, covering Palm Island in Queensland, and the Daly, Katherine and Tennant Creek regions of the Northern Territory.

Further information about the Low Aromatic Fuel Act 2013 and areas where it has been used can be found below.

What does the Act do?

The Low Aromatic Fuel Act 2013 allows the Minister for Indigenous Affairs to designate low aromatic fuel areas and fuel control areas where this will likely reduce potential harm to the health of people, including Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders. In making this decision, the Minister must have regard to the views and wellbeing of Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders living in the area.

The Explanatory Memorandum is available at the Federal Register of Legislation website.

Where have designations been made?

The Minister for Indigenous Affairs has used powers available under the Act to designate the following regions as ‘low aromatic fuel areas’:

  • Palm Island, Queensland (since 27 November 2015)
  • Barkly (Tennant Creek) region, Northern Territory (17 February 2016)
  • Daly region, Northern Territory (since 19 February 2016), and
  • Katherine region, Northern Territory (since 19 February 2016).

These areas cover 27 fuel outlets and eight fuel distributors. It is now illegal to supply or sell regular unleaded fuel in Tennant Creek, the Threeways Roadhouse, Adelaide River, Mary River, Hayes Creek, Pine Creek, Katherine, Tindal (the RAAF base), the Nitmiluk Visitor Centre, Mataranka, and on Palm Island.

More information on each of the designated areas, including links to maps of the areas, is available.

If you have any queries please email

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain images and voices of deceased people.