Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has led a push in Federal Parliament this week to improve the health warnings on liquified petroleum gas (LPG) bottles.
Mr Ramsey wants to see backyard barbecue gas bottles include a warning that inhalation may cause death. Similar warnings are already on many other household items such as deodorant and paint spray cans, which contain butane.
On Monday night in Parliament Mr Ramsey highlighted the death of 16-year-old Port Lincoln boy, Patrick ‘Paddy’ Ryan, who died at a friends’ backyard party after inhaling LPG, from a nine kilogram barbecue gas bottle in February.
Mr Ramsey explained a number of young Australians had died from intentionally “huffing” LPG for a quick high and requested the relevant Minister establish an inquiry to investigate the circumstances of such deaths.
“In the view of the people of Port Lincoln, in the view of Paddy’s family, in my view, something needs to be done and it needs to be done urgently before we lose one more young Australian,” Mr Ramsey said.
Mr Ramsey said it was likely such legislation will have to be passed by the states and welcomed a letter from the Attorney General Christian Porter committing to leading the effort at the next meeting of the Ministerial Council on Industrial Relations and Work Health and Safety.
“It may not fix the issue. We can put all kinds of warnings on all kinds of things and it doesn’t necessarily change the behaviour as we would hope,” he said.
“But, as I argued when we dealt with country-of-origin food labelling, if you don’t have the information you can’t make a sensible decision.
“If we have the information on the bottle, then at least people know it is a dangerous substance if inhaled. I want this looked at, at the highest level as soon as possible.”
Mr Ramsey also welcomed the high calibre contributions made by fellow parliamentary members including two doctors.
“We will be collectively writing to the Attorney General today asking him to act as soon as possible on his commitment to raise and lead the debate at the next meeting of the Ministerial Council,” he said.
“I have also had strong interest and support coming from the Premier Steven Marshall and met with the Gas Energy Australia, both with a strong preference that there be a nationally uniform approach.”
Media contact: Kendall Jackson (08)8633 1744