Action to reduce Petrol Sniffing in Indigenous Communities

  • Whole of Strategy Evaluation of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy: Future Directions for the PSS - 2013

    The Whole of Strategy Evaluation of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy (PSS) is a high-level strategic review that assesses the effectiveness, sustainability, impact and continuing relevance of the PSS as a way of coordinating government effort on petrol sniffing.

    The evaluation found that the PSS has achieved a dramatic reduction in the prevalence of petrol sniffing across remote Australia, in particular through the roll out of low aromatic fuel and provision of youth services. It also found that there was overwhelming support for the PSS to continue as a national strategy and highlighted a number of benefits from having the PSS including:

    • Providing a shared framework for the management of the response to petrol sniffing
    • Being a focal point for investment by agencies, and leveraging other relevant programs and funds to address petrol sniffing related issues
    • Reflecting the complex nature of petrol sniffing, and
    • Being a visible demonstration of governmental action to stakeholders.

    The evaluation proposes future directions for the PSS.


In mid-2010 the Government tabled its combined response to the Senate Community Affairs Committee report Grasping the opportunity of Opal: Assessing the impact of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy and its earlier 2006 companion report Beyond Petrol Sniffing: Renewing Hope for Indigenous Communities.


FaHCSIA commissioned a number of reports in response to recommendations of the Senate Committee Reports. These include:

This report identifies several opportunities for enabling the Central Australian Petrol Sniffing Unit Review (CAPSSU) to draw on the full range of resources available in the community, in achieving a more holistic implementation of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy.  These include:

  • Central Australian Petrol Sniffing Strategy Unit Review Report (responds to Recommendation 4 of the 2009 Report)
    • addressing the barriers to cooperation and collaboration, to reaffirm CAPSSU’s role as the body with oversight of the Petrol Sniffing Strategy in the Northern Territory  and across state and territory borders
    • better aligning CAPSSU’s work with parallel activities within the broader volatile substances area
    • strengthening the governance arrangements and program frameworks within CAPSSU, to provide greater transparency, program logic and accountability to the work of the unit.
  • Approved Response to Central Australian Petrol Sniffing Strategy Unit Review Report

    FaHCSIA has prepared an approved response to the CAPSSU Review Report accepting the thrust of its recommendations and profiling activity in train to respond to them.

  • Research into Legislation relating to Petrol Sniffing - Executive Summary

    Shaw Report – Research into Legislation Relating to Petrol Sniffing (responds to Recommendations 9 and 10 of the 2006 Report).
    This research finds that while most stakeholders are satisfied with the legislative tools currently at their disposal, there are opportunities for improved coordination of service delivery, including rehabilitation services. The report does not support uniform legislation at this stage. An Executive Summary only of this report is available because of the detailed sensitive community information it contains.

  • Research to Inform the Development of the Youth Diversion Communication Strategy in the East Kimberly and Central Desert Region (CDR)

    CIRCA Report – Communications Research Project (responds to Recommendation 2 of the 2009 Report).
    This preliminary communications research focussed on Central Australia and the Kimberley region. Its findings confirm the themes of the academic literature and point to the importance of involving local people in the design of Petrol Sniffing Strategy-related communications material. These findings will inform ongoing communications work in the Petrol Sniffing Strategy partner agencies, including FaHCSIA and the Department of Health and Ageing.


Further information

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