Recommendation R20010017

Recommendation issued to: Department of the Treasury

Recommendation details
Output No: R20010017
Date issued: 30 March 2001
Safety action status:

See report 'Systemic Investigation into Fuel Contamination'.

Output text

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Department of the Treasury review its relationship with other regulatory bodies to clarify the limits of their respective regulatory powers and responsibilities with respect to aviation fuels, to ensure that aviation safety issues are effectively regulated.

Initial response
Date issued: 30 September 2002
Response from: Department of the Treasury
Action status: Open
Response text:


Thank you for your letter of 14 April 2002 concerning the recommendations contained in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) report, Systemic Investigation into Fuel Contamination. I recall discussions and email exchanges with ATSB in respect of the recommendation. Nevertheless, our response is repeated below.

Under section 65R of the Trade Practices Act 1974 suppliers conducting voluntary recalls are required to notify the Minister responsible for consumer affairs within two days of taking recall action. Treasury enters the voluntary recall information on the Product Recalls Australia web site and monitors the effectiveness of the recall action. The contaminated aviation fuel which was the subject of the ATSB report was voluntarily recalled by BP Australia limited on 24 December 1999 and Mobil Oil Australia Limited on 30 December 1999. Periodic reports were received and the recall action for both was closed on 14 April 2000.

The ATSB report A TSB Systemic Investigation into Fuel Contamination determined that "the contaminated fuel was successfully tracked and recalled". The report also concluded "The quarantine and recall processes following the contamination event ............ were effective".

The Trade Practices Act provides the responsible Minister with powers to ban, warn, set standards or order recalls of goods which could arguably include, for example, aviation fuel. However Treasury does not have the resources or particular expertise to monitor product safety matters within the aviation sector. If it was appropriate or necessary to consider using the Trade Practices Act powers in relation to aviation products we would expect such a request to originate from your Department and progress through your Minister to the Minister responsible for consumer affairs (currently the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, [name provided]).

This Division already liaises as necessary with officers of ATSB/DOTARS on relevant product safety issues. Accordingly, we consider recommendation R20010017 to have already been appropriately implemented. Naturally, however, we would continue to welcome any suggestions you may have which might benefit the ongoing relationship of the various agencies with interests in product safety issues

Last update 01 April 2011