Plastic Gas Can

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 02:41
ThreadID: 15249 Views:7847 Replies:4 FollowUps:9
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Is it legal to use plastic gas (petrol) cans as opposed to metal jerry cans in Australia?

I assume that if one wishes to drive through an area where the distance between refueling stations equals or exceeds the capacity of the car's fuel tank, the only option is to bring extra petrol along. It is my understanding that there are no petrol stations on the Srezelecki Track between Lyndhurst and Innaminka, a distance of about 485 Km.

Would it be dangerous to carry these petrol cans inside the car or the trunk? Presumably the interior of the car would be air conditioned. The plastic gas cans I have been looking at are not vented.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 07:16

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 07:16
Yes, you can buy them in most stores around Oz auto spares, K-Mart, Big W, usually they are black with yellow lid and pouring spout. I am sure you have to carry them on the outside of the car. Below is a link to a previous thread on this subject.

Click here

AnswerID: 71003

Follow Up By: Baz (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 08:02

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 08:02
Oh yeah i forgot no fuel between Lyndhurst & Innaminka. Enjoy your stay trip while you are here and take plenty of water too.
FollowupID: 331223

Reply By: Bros - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 07:18

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 07:18
Petrol can be carried in plastic cans as long as they are Australian Design Standard AS 2906. These cans are designed to expand and contract with the prevailing weather/temperature conditions.
There is no way i would be carrying these cans inside a vehicle, air conditioned or not.
I don't know about the Strezlecki track, but some one on this forum will be able to tell you. Hope i have been of some help.
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AnswerID: 71005

Reply By: Banjo - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 08:54

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 08:54
Yep Cal - as said above, there are plenty of design approved poly jerries on the market - quite robust - same stuff used in boat tanks - as said, they get bigger if left in the sun ! Just treat petrol as a bomb waiting to go off, when deciding how to store it. The Strz is a great drive, but you need that capacity for the 485k as you say - no fuel - Moomba would let you in once to buy some at their servo, but only if stuck - that was of course pre Bin-Laden - can't see that being the case any more, after the calamity caused in lots of places by a reduced gas flow out of there. Suggest you need to carry the fuel outside the car, somewhere. How about spread the load with a simple yet robust trailer.
AnswerID: 71022

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 11:12

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 11:12
"Would it be dangerous to carry these petrol cans inside the car or the trunk"

Its illegal to carry petrol inside a car or trunk, and someone mentioned also on the back of the car is also a no no. So trailer or roofrack.
AnswerID: 71042

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 11:22

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 11:22
It's legal to carry 250 litres of petrol inside a vehicle in approved containers anywhere within Oz.
FollowupID: 331236

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 12:29

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 12:29
Work Cover said None inside.. ;-)~

Vicroads site said not a flammin thing, but Im sure this has been done before on here..
FollowupID: 331246

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 13:30

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 13:30
Workcover cover the work place don't they? not what I do in my home or private vehicle, or have I got that wrong.


The WA Dangerous Goods Act 1988, and Dangerous Goods (Transport) (Road and Rail) Regulations
1999, contains the relevant regulations, both of which are based on the Australian Dangerous
Goods Code (ADGC), sixth edition.

The maximum permissible quantity is 250 litres of PETROL, which should be carried in approved
containers in either the boot or on external brackets. It can be carried within the passenger
compartment, such as the back of a station wagon, in approved, properly restrained containers,
but this is not recommended.
Contact the Explosives and Dangerous Goods Division of the WA Department of Mineral and
PETROLeum Resources for further into (08 9222 333)

The Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Dangerous Goods) Regulation 1998 permits
carrying up to 250 litres of dangerous goods (fuel) for personal use. The responsibility for
filling a jerry can and ensuring it is an approved container lies with the person filling the

Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 owners are prohibited from
modifying their vehicle, its parts or equipment, and from carrying dangerous goods
(irrespective of quantity or position), in an unsafe manner.

This includes carrying containers upright, ensuring they don't leak and are properly secured,
and do not overload the vehicle (especially if transported on roof-racks). A booklet titled Load
Restraint Guide (available from Commonwealth Government Bookshops) should be consulted
Write to: Greg Swann, Group Manager, Vehicle Safety and Industry Reform Section,
Queensland Transport, PO Box 673 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006.

In South Australia, PETROL is covered by the Dangerous Substances Act and Regulations, which are
in turn based on the ADGC; therefore, the same 250- limit applies.

Diesel is unregulated, as elsewhere, but the Department for Administrative and Information
Services advises that PETROL (and diesel) transportation would be covered by the general duty of
care provisions contained in Sections 11 and 12 of the Dangerous Substances Act.

The Road Traffic Act has provisions for duly of care relating to vehicle safety issues such as
overhanging loads and impact protection. They also state that, while carrying fuel in the
driver's vapour space (in a van or wagon), is much debated, it is up to each individual driver
to assess their own risk and duty of care provisions when deciding whether to fit a range tank
or carry fuel in jerry cans. Dangerous Substances Branch, Workplace Services (08) 8303 0447

In Victoria, the relevant legislation is the Road Act 1995, which has been adopted from
the, (Dangerous Goods) Act -1995 and the Road Transport (Dangerous Goods) Regulations.

The Regulations reference the ADGC under which Regulation 1.10 exempts small quantities of fuel
from the rigours of the Dangerous Goods legislation. This refers, again, to PETROL only. Diesel
is not considered dangerous goods.

They maintain it is the responsibility of the driver items, regardless of type, are firmly and
a fuel should be stored in AS2906 containers minimum requirement.
Write to: Victorian WorkCover Authority, Dangerous Goods Unit
GPO Box 4306 Melbourne Vic 3001

The Tasmanian government refers these, issues to the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport)
Regulations 1998, which covers general safety and load restraint safety.

The filling of fuel containers is also covered by AS1940 - Storage and Handling of Combustible
and Flammable Liquids. They advise that a person can carry 250 litres of PETROL for private use
(as per the ADOC), but the containers must meet AS2906 Fuel Containers/Portable/Plastics and

Tasmanian Vehicle and Traffic (Vehicle Standards) that an object fitted to a vehicle must be
designed, built and maintained to minimise the likelihood of injury. As such, this would
prohibit the fitting of jerry cans containing dangerous or explosive substances to any vehicle
(car,4WD, caravan, trailer), especially given the likelihood of rear or side-impact collisions.

Owners of vehicles should check the 'fine print' of their insurance policies. If fuel is
transported in an unsafe manner and an accident leads to greater damage or injury than might
otherwise have been the case apportion blame to the driver and/or invalidate the policy.
Write to: The Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources,

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and WorkCover NSW are the competent authorities
for dangerous goods control in NSW. They' administer the Road and Rail Transport (Dangerous
Goods) Act 1997 and the Road Transport Reform (Dangerous Goods) (NSW) Regulations 1998.

Under these laws, jerry cans must be approved containers for the transport of Class 3 liquids
(PETROL) (ie, AS2906) and the maximum permissible quantity is 250 litres. Diesel is not
considered a dangerous good, but a combustible, and must be carried in a safe manner.

Division 9.3.1 (1) (e) of the ADGC states that 'if the package (ie, jerry can) contains
dangerous goods of a kind that may lead to the formation of flammable, toxic or other harmful
atmospheres - the package must be stowed so that no harmful atmosphere will accumulate in the
cabin If the package leaks'.

The above would indicate that great care should be taken when storing jerry cans INSIDE a 4WD's
luggage compartment, whether it is a separate boot or part of the passenger compartment. AS2906
containers are designed not to vent to the atmosphere, provided they are in good condition and
the seals/lids are functioning correctly.

Write to: NSW Environment Protection Authority
Dangerous Goods Office
59-61 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000.

Only containers which comply with Northern Territory Dangerous Goods Regulation 217 can be used
to transport flammable, (PETROL.) and combustible (diesel) fuels. Essentially, this covers
containers complying with AS1533/34 and AS1 940, but 'approved container' is also specified
which indicates that containers complying with AS2906 would also be acceptable.

The Northern Territory Dangerous Goods legislation is b ADGC, which specifies that not more
than 250 litres of PETROL can be carried. No quantity is specified for diesel.

Information bulletins are available at or contact
The Department of Industries and Business, Work Health (08) 8999 511 8

The transport of fuel is covered under the Dangerous Goods Act. 1975, Dangerous, Goods
Regulations 1978, Road Transport Reform (Dangerous Goods) Act 1995 and Road Transport
(Dangerous Goods) Regulations. The latter takes its requirements from the ADGC.

The DGA (1975) Section, 12 and 14 require fuel to be carried in appropriate, containers
to prevent spillage or leakage, and make it an offence to carry fuel in a manner likely to
cause death/injury, or damage to property.

Section 37(1) of the RTR (DIG) Act1 1995 requires fuel be transported in a safe manner.
Sub Section (2) makes it an offence to do so where a person "ought to have known" that what
they were doing was unsafe or likely to cause damage to persons or property.
Contact: ACT WorkCover (Dangerous Goods) (02) 6207 6354.

FollowupID: 331257

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:17

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:17
:P~ Check some of the links in your post..
EG: Write to: Victorian WorkCover Authority, Dangerous Goods Unit

I called WC in relation to hazardous materials, as Vicroads didnt know squat, after being put through to 20 people, they didnt know, or know who to contact,

WCover also put me through to 20 people, but in the end I got this out of a 4wder that was the last man in the line. WC were incharge of Hazmaterials when I was delivering DGoods in the 90's.

I need a holiday.
FollowupID: 331276

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:23

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:23
Sorry Trucky but you are wrong

Good one Ray...this subject comes uop from time to time. Maybe David and Michelle should include the regs on this site

I have carried fuel inside my vehicle for 40+ years without once having a hassle. I wouldn't worry about the leaglity of it.
FollowupID: 331278

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:36

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:36
Willem you go on to say
"I wouldn't worry about the leaglity of it"

So where was I wrong?
FollowupID: 331282

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Victoria) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:45

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:45
I've been able to find documentation to say it's legal but none to say it's not.

Work Cover cover the workplace, factory, office, retail shop etc not what I do in my private home or private vehicle. I'd be happy to be proved wrong though.

FollowupID: 331286

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:48

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 14:48
Just a throw away line, mate

I said so because everyone always WORRIES about the LEGALITY of this and that, ad infinitum. If it were illegal, and it is NOT, who would ever police the legality? Don't worry about it.

Paranoia is the word.
FollowupID: 331287

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