Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd had successfully retained the contract to supply Low Aromatic Fuel (LAF) to northern Australia. The Australian Government’s National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) selected Viva Energy through an open tender process, that will see the business supply LAF from Darwin, Weipa and Townsville until at least June 2023.
LAF is a specially designed 91 octane unleaded petrol that complies with the Australian Fuel Quality Standards Act and can be used in all petrol engines that use regular 91 octane fuel. At the same time it has been formulated to contain low levels of the aromatic compounds in order to deter sniffing.
Viva Energy Australia CEO, Scott Wyatt, welcomed NIAA’s decision for the business to continue to supply low aromatic fuel to the top end - a community-driven solution supported by governments, retailers and the industry that has proven to be highly effective.
“Our successful tender to the NIAA will allow our business to continue to make a positive difference to the health of these regional communities,” Mr Wyatt said.
“Viva Energy’s Geelong Refinery has been proudly manufacturing low aromatic fuel since 2014, in support of Australian Government initiatives to reduce petrol sniffing in regional and remote areas of Australia.
"Playing our part in helping to deter petrol sniffing is one tangible thing we are doing to improve the day to day life for young people in remote communities, “Mr Wyatt said.
A research study, Longitudinal research into petrol sniffing and other substance abuse trends in Indigenous communities, by the University of Queensland that was released in 2019, has shown that since the introduction of low aromatic fuel, there has been a 95.2% reduction in petrol sniffing in Indigenous communities surveyed since 2007.
The study also found that due to the success of the LAF program in reducing petrol sniffing, it also reduced the associated harm to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people, especially youths that flow from petrol sniffing.
The supply of LAF complements other efforts to also reduce substance use in Indigenous communities, including providing reliable youth sport and recreation programs, culture and language schooling, and improving community safety and health.
Viva Energy launched its inaugural Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) late in 2019 and has invested in a range of Indigenous community partnerships over the past five years, including programs that promote staying in education as well as targeted programs to help combat substance use.