Are Qld gas bottle refill rules just “Bung-kum”?

If you want a Qld gas bottle refill, you face the strictest laws in Australia 

Recently, a member of our Facebook group had a gripe.

She was traveling through Central Qld and needed a 9kg gas bottle refill.  According to her Facebook post, a staff member at one of Australia’s largest camping chain stores refused.


Was her bottle out of date?


Believe it or not – he refused because she didn’t have a BUNG!

We are not joking. He refused because she didn’t have a BUNG!

Here is what she posted on Facebook:

“We were recently in ** *** QLD and took our 9kg to *** to be refilled. They refused as we didn’t have a bung in our bottle. We got our bottle refilled at Blue Zone Gas and asked the lady about the bung. She said it’s something coming in that you must have a bung in your bottle. She nicely gave us one for free”.

Her post evoked an avalanche of incredulous comments, as such posts on Facebook always do.

If the story is true – and we have no reason to doubt our member – two facts are blatantly obvious. Either the staff member was too busy, or, secondly,  just too lazy.

Hopefully, the manager of that store has taken the appropriate action.  This leisure goods chain enjoys a wonderful reputation for good public relations.

But let’s get back to the nub of this story – QLD’s tough gas laws

There’s no denying safety must come first when filling, handling, transporting, and storing gas bottles.

Haven’t we all heard and read horrendous stories about gas bottles exploding, causing fires and fatalities?

Some ill-informed journalists sensationalise such reports.  Gas bottles rarely explode, as evidenced by the catastrophic bushfires,  Liquid petroleum (LPG) gas bottles will leak gas if valves are faulty or left open, then the gas explodes, not the bottle.

To be refilled, the law requires gas bottles to be in good condition and ‘in date’ (see our blog post, “When do your BBQ gas bottles need retesting?”)

A gas bottle must have a bung before removal from the filling site. The Qld Government threatens refillers with a fine of up to $37,000, and customers with a fine of up to $3,000, if bungs are not in place when gas bottles leave the refill point.

{NOTE: If the bottle is reconnected immediately to a gas line in clear sight of the refiller, that rule can be waived. }

We deplore tricky practices

If a gas seller intends to charge extra for bungs, surely that seller has an obligation to say so before taking the bottle for refilling.

In our view, it is outrageous that some sellers are adding as much as $3.00 for bungs. We know what bungs cost. If you come across a gas refiller adding more than $1.00 for a bung after they have filled your bottle, please report it to us. After checking, we will post the fact in our database.

For safety reasons, a bottle should have airspace to allow LPG  to expand. This airspace is known as Ullage. Honest refillers will normally allow six to ten percent ullage. The only way to be sure you are getting what you pay for is to check the liquid level before and after a refill. We deal with that subject in another blog.

Large, smart gas refillers will absorb the small cost plugs cost. They know that while the bottle is being filled, some customers will browse around their store stock. The profit on just one spur-of-the-moment sale could equal the cost of 100 plastic bungs.

Even the sale of a can of coke is a bonus, and the customer leaves feeling good!

So report the BUNG-KUM gas refillers <here> so other potential customers can give them a wide berth.

10/10/2023 Fiona @ Mareeba Sheds says

Thanks – you guys are still generating a lot of business for us and it is greatly appreciated