The AAA concurs with the principle that fuel standards should be used to manage those fuel qualities/parameters that are known to have the potential to impact adversely on the environment.
The recent exposure of fuel substitution/dilution has, quite rightly, raised many concerns in the eyes of the motoring public. Until the testing of fuel on forecourts in NSW provided evidence of a problem with fuel quality, it was assumed that the public were getting what they paid for.
There is no doubt that in order to achieve Australia’s air quality goals, significant developments are needed in motor vehicle emissions and control technology. These developments can only be introduced if suitable fuel is available to enable proper and consistent functioning of the technologies.
The "public interest test" or public benefit test in relation to any proposed investment by State or Federal Government in road infrastructure should be mandatory and should include an economic cost-benefit analysis which takes into account for all external benefits or spillovers of a project, so that beneficial road projects are not vetoed merely because they do not satisfy narrow commercial profitability tests.