Australian Fuel Storage Regulations. A Statewide Directory

Updated 6 February, 2018

When you’re making decisions about your fuel storage, knowing the fuel storage regulations that apply in your state should be an important part of your decision.

In Australia, regulations can surround everything from how and where you install your storage system to how regularly you maintain it, how you prevent leaks and how you handle safety around your storage site.

The regulatory environment is changing. To help you navigate the current situation, we’ve put together a guide to some of the most useful sites for regulatory information in each state.

Underground Fuel Storage

Underground Petroleum Storage Systems (UPSS) have the potential to leak, leading to expensive clean-up bills and damage to the environment.

UPSS Regulations require owners and operators to regularly check for leaks in the fuel tanks and pipes used to store and handle petroleum products. They also need to meet minimum standards in their day-to-day environmental management of these storage systems.

While environmental regulations apply in each Australian state, each has slightly different requirements for the storage and maintenance of underground petroleum tanks. In particular, a review of underground fuel storage regulations will begin in NSW in 2018, and the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority is developing a new code of practice on the design, installation and management of UPSS.

You’ll find the essential information for your state at the links below:


The Queensland Government’s business and industry portal’s information on standards, codes of practice and guidelines as outlined in the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 and the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Regulation 2004.


Under an amendment to the regulation introduced in 2017,  EPA will continue as the regulatory authority for UPSS matters in NSW until 31 August, 2019. Prior to that date, the EPA will provide expanded technical guidance to improve environmental management and support opportunities to adapt to new fuel handling and storage technologies and environmental needs.

This EPA site provides the essential information on the updated regulation on the management and operation of underground petroleum storage systems (UPSS).


The Victorian EPA published updated guidelines for the design, installation and management of underground fuel storage systems in 2015. You can find the guidelines


If you’re operating in Tasmania, you’ll need to comply with the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Underground Petroleum Storage Systems) Regulation 2010.


Check the Environmental Guidelines for Service Station Sites and Hydrocarbon Storage (January 2014) for information on UPSS and above ground fuel storage requirements.


Information about legislation administered by the Department of Environmental Regulation, including legislation around petroleum and contaminated sites, can be found here. For information on dangerous goods codes of practice, go to this site.

Information on when a licence is required for the storage of dangerous goods can be found here.


The South Australian EPA is in the process of developing a code of practice on the design, installation and management of UPSS.

In the interim, the EPA recommends compliance with the Victorian EPA Guidelines on the Design, Installation and Management Requirements for Underground Petroleum Storage Systems as a means of ensuring that all reasonable and practical measures are taken in regard to complying with the Environment Protection Act 1993 and the Environment Protection (Water Quality) Policy 2015.

For further information on the assessment of sites containing UPSS, go to the EPA Guidelines for assessment of underground storage systems.

Information about when you need a SA fuel storage licence and how to apply is available at this site.

Above ground fuel storage tanks – bunding and safety

If you’re installing fuel storage above ground, there are a particular environmental safety and workplace safety regulations that could apply. See the links below for information relevant in your state.
Safe Work Australia – The National Code of Practice for the Storage and Handling of Workplace Dangerous Goods can be found here.


Worksafe Queensland service station safety guidelines -
Brisbane guidelines for storage and dispensing of petroleum products –


NSW – Bunding and spills management information –


Worksafe Victoria guidelines for falls prevention when working with above ground fuel storage.


New Dangerous Substances (General) Regulations took effect in September 2017.

Find Licence and Notice of Installation forms  here

A guide to when you need to install bunding around fuel tanks –


Worksafe NT dangerous goods storage and transport information.

FES Tanks – Industry Advice

If you’re confused around what regulations apply in your area, we are here to help.

We have the knowledge you need to choose the right system and ensure it is installed and maintained in full compliance with all relevant legislation. Our range of self-bunded tanks also minimises the risk of leaks and does away with the need for expensive and complicated bunding work.


    1. Mark

      Question regarding mobile fuel tanks and pumps on tow trailer..

      Where do I find the regs associated with this type of petrol/diesel use application?

      1. FES Tanks

        Not sure if there is any. Firstly would need compliance with road transport rules, then check state legisaltion for fuel storage.

    2. Doug McEwan

      Are there any safety signage requirements at the fill and vent point for an underground diesel storage tank? (In particular ‘no-smoking’ signs.)

      1. FES Tanks

        Yes, generally a “No Smoking Sign” is all that is required.

    3. Shane Pungitore

      Do I have to remove a decommissioned fuel tank from a property before I can register as a business.

      1. FES Tanks

        No you do not. If you have any concerns you can contact your local council to get a site history for that particular property. This will tell you if the tank has been decommissioned or not.

    4. Andrew Woolnough

      What distance is required between an above ground diesel storage tank and a dangerous goods storage area

      1. FES Tanks

        Depends on how many lines are in the above ground diesel storage tank. This will determine separation distance.

    5. Kerri Dowling

      On a Civil Construction site where fuel, both diesel and unleaded, is stored in jerry cans in a shipping container on a bunded pallet, the question is, are there rules to say that diesel and unleaded can’t be stored together on the same pallet in the same shipping container?

      1. FES Tanks

        No rule. As per AS 1940 this is all classed as minor storage and can all be placed in storage together. Typically a DGS (dangerous Goods Container) is used to store these products. I might add, correct decals / signage need to be displayed on storage container to reflect whether its Flammable or Combustible being stored, or both.

    6. Danielle Kirk

      Who do I contact about removing a decommissioned fuel tank from a residential property in Victoria?

      1. FES Tanks

        Nqpetro are people we’re happy to recommend.

    7. susan gill

      We are in WA. We have two 5000l tanks above ground. where is the best place to find out what is required with regard to bunding, etc?

      1. FES Tanks

        Talk to GENSET HIRE and SALES AUSTRALIA (08 9359 1988).
        They are our reps in Perth and being based in WA will have a better understanding of the requirements.


    8. Royce Dunn

      I am looking to build storage for approx 3400 litres of diesel underground in a shed on my farm in Queensland. What if any regulations effect this. Can I use a poly tank or do I need a steel one. What would be the best backfill material for Poly. If steel is required what is the best backfill.

      1. FES Tanks

        Our aboveground tanks will remove the need to know the answers to your underground questions.

    9. Russell

      i work in a 500sqm workshop. i would just like to know, what is the volume of fuel and reclaimed engine oil we are allowed to store onsite in drums.

      1. FES Tanks

        I would check with your local council as they have the final word on compliance.

    10. Tom Bennett

      We are a construction company that operate on farms all around the country. On some of our bigger sites we are trying to set up a fuel tralier to service all of our machines. We have just recently bought a 500L Diesel tank and a 450L Self bunded unleaded tank with the idea to have them on the same trailer. The trailer can be moved around the site to different machines for fuelling. in regards to the unleaded tank on the trailer can we legally move this around full on a trailer and take it to the service station for refuelling?

      1. FES Tanks

        Give us a call to discuss your challenges.

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