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The LEAD Group Inc
The Lead Education and Abatement Design Group
Working to eliminate lead poisoning globally and to protect the
environment from lead in all its uses: past, current and new uses
ABN 25 819 463 114
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Keeping Australian Lead Out of Leaded Petrol Initiative.

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Aims to eliminate lead poisoning, protect the environment from lead
and to strengthen networks of stakeholders to solve lead problems

MEDIA RELEASE - 25th July 2000

Latest Figures from The Lead Advisory Service Australia
show that 0.017% of your lead fuel excise is well spent.

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  • "In the 1999 calendar year the Federal Government earned $87,933,131 from the lead fuel excise. Only $15,000 was contributed to The Lead Advisory Service Australia (LASA) in the Financial Year 1999-2000. This represents 0.0171% of an excise generated from consumers being reinvested in a community service", said Ms Elizabeth O’Brien of The LEAD Group today.

  • "When compared to the estimated community cost of each lead poisoned child (ie for each 10m g/dL rise in lead in blood) being $10,280, if only one of 246 calls to LASA results in preventing one child from exceeding the Australian goal the service is cost effective. We estimate the service to be many times more effective than this" added Ms O’Brien.

Ms O’Brien explained that, "An important agreement from the Lead Roundtable was that:-"… all Governments would work towards the development of a National Lead Abatement Strategy including appropriate strategies for remediation of areas with site-specific lead problems." For FY 1999-2000, the only evidence remaining of this strategy is the booklet ("Lead Alert - 6 Step Guide to Painting Your Home), some funding of remediation and education programs in lead mining or smelter towns and LASA's funding. All other lead activities would appear to be funded by state or local governments."

  • "Whether the Lead Petrol Excise goes into general revenue and ends up going to the states for specific or general programs is not known to The LEAD Group." Ms O’Brien added, "It is clear that nowhere near the remaining lead income (after subtracting the LASA grant from EA (remainder is $87,918,131) or even after subtracting the NSW EPA grant as well (leaving $87,703,131)) very little is being spent on lead abatement nationally.

  • "The total monetary value of donated time by staff and volunteers for the financial year was nearly $49,000. Only a further 0.056% of the Lead Petrol Excise would be needed to cover this cost. Without this volunteer contribution, the excellent level of service on lead-related matters delivered to the community by the Lead Advisory Service Australia would not be possible" continued Ms O’Brien.

Ms O’Brien said, "The decision makers at the NSW EPA and this year, in conjunction with the Environment Minister, have decided to grant LASA only 5 months worth of funding. This will enable the Lead Advisory Service (LAS) NSW to function until a decision is made in November 2000 about project funding from the Environmental Trust. The LEAD Group was advised that the NSW EPA would not consider funding the Lead Advisory Service itself. The feasibility of the current level of service from LASA therefore is dependent on other funding sources".

"We need to celebrate the beginning of the end of leaded petrol and we can probably afford to congratulate Shell for introducing Lead Free Super well before the NSW or Federal government requires them to do it but of course we all need to buy less petrol of any kind for a sustainable future. With Lead Free Super the addition of lead from petrol to the lead load already in our environment will finally stop - and now it's worth cleaning up the historical contamination. The usual message that a petrol company or environment minister would promote is that Lead Free Super is a fantastic environmentally sound product and all our lead problems are over. A similar message put out about paint when lead in paint was reduced in the 1950s led many doctors to fail to look for or diagnose lead poisoning ever after, as they had forgotten that lead paint was already "out there" on the homes that were being renovated. I'd hate the same misbelief to happen with leaded petrol" continued Ms O’Brien. ###

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Last Updated 08 March 2012
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PO Box 161 Summer Hill NSW 2130 Australia
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