Stall in car sales opportunity to get rid of clunkers.

The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), the only business chamber for the sustainable energy industry in WA, wants governments to remove government price imposts incurred in vehicle changeover when motorists choose to buy fuel-efficient vehicles - both cars and trucks.

WA SEA wants governments to remove old clunkers that are both petrol guzzlers and unsafe to reduce

• air pollution (higher standard engines cars)
• carbon emissions (fuel efficient cars)
• out of pocket expenditure (fuel efficient cars)
• motor vehicle accident occurrences (safer cars)
• motor vehicle accident injuries (safer cars)
• hospital queues (safer cars)

The WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), the only business chamber for the sustainable energy industry in WA, calls on the Barnett Government to remove government price imposts incurred in vehicle changeover when motorists choose to buy fuel-efficient vehicles - both cars and trucks.

"Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett and Treasurer Troy Buswell can create an Australian first by immediately eliminating all government imposed costs currently incurred in moving to greener vehicles," according to Dr Ray Wills, CEO of WA SEA.

Currently around 60000 cars are retired from WA roads each year - a 'cash for clunkers' scheme should aim to increase the rate of retirements by 10%.

"As car stocks build up in dealers' yards, the Government should also engage with the motor trade industry and seek their support for the scheme, including through a collaboration through a reduction in dealer delivery charges levied on green cars to create a rapid uptake of green vehicles."

"The Barnett Government should also instigate a system of "cash for clunkers" that scraps the most unsafe and biggest guzzlers from the road, buying old cars and trucks at low prices in a slumped market, and scrapping them to ensure they are not resold but are crushed and recycled. However, Government should not pay for natural retirements, unlicensed vehicles, nor unroadworthy vehicles - these should be simply removed by regulatory action, not by compensation. And relicensing of second-hand vehicles should be toughened so that, with the reasonable exception of collectables and vintage, vehicles with low safety and poor fuel-efficiency are not allowed back on the road."

"Scrapping old cars and trucks from the road and replacing them with new greener, less polluting, safer vehicles will not only reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality in the city, it will also improve safety standards on Western Australian roads, potentially saving lives," says Dr Wills.

There have been significant gains in the design of vehicles in the past decade, driven primarily by innovations from the European market. Vehicle safety has changed substantially in the last ten years, following the adoption of new safety standards in Europe (European New Car Assessment Programme, or Euro NCAP) with the emergence of dual airbags becoming standard equipment for many passenger cars, particularly through innovations developed by automakers like BMW in the luxury car market.

Another element might be to assist disadvantaged families - replacing cars to ensure their presence on the road can be safer and more economical. This could be done with low cost new cars, or second hand cars less than 3 years old. A simple way to achieve this is to ride on the back of Government fleet purchase polices targeting greener cars - such a program could have first access to ex-government fleet vehicles.

"In addition, as the Federal Government finalises its incentives package that will invest over $6 billion taxpayer dollars to support for the Australian car industry, the Prime Minister must ensure a delivery of value and a more sustainable motoring future for Australians," says Dr Wills.

"The Green Vehicle Innovation Fund is designed to promote greater local design, development and manufacturing investment. To ensure the greatest change results from the $1.3 billion Green Vehicle Innovation Fund investments, regulatory changes that focus tax law and other tools to ensure that both fleets and private motorists are simultaneously incentivised and required to upgrade to low-emission vehicles will ensure a market for the new vehicles is maximised."

Both State and Federal Governments can make green vehicles more affordable, available and attractive by:
• reducing vehicle taxes including stamp duty and reforming company taxation frameworks to direct purchasing toward fuel-efficient, low-emission, new and used green vehicles for both transport and commercial uses;
• offering rebates and financial incentives on the purchase of new and used green vehicles;
• conversely, applying greater taxation-based and other regulatory penalties on energy-inefficient new and used vehicles;
• improving consumer awareness through information, education, and advertising that focuses on life-cycle costs and promotes manufacturers making the greatest effort to deliver real change; and
• requiring fleet managers, including commercial fleet, to only select from the most fuel-efficient fit-for-purpose vehicles.

WA SEA has been calling for a system of "cash for clunkers" for the past two years - the economic downturn provides the most affordable time to implement the measure, and can assist families at greatest disadvantage.

Media Contact:
Dr Ray Wills 0430 365 607

Editors notes:
1. Fuel efficient vehicles listed on the Australian Government's Green vehicle guide website show new vehicles are easily twice the efficiency of older cars - and in cases as much as three times more efficient than the ABS average. Australian Bureau of Statistics rate of fuel consumption averaged for all motor vehicles on Australian roads was 13.8 litres per 100 kilometres. Articulated trucks had the highest average fuel consumption with 55.6 litres per 100 kilometres. (ABS data for the 12 months ended 31 October 2006.)

2. Statistics on Australian vehicle fleet -

3. Green Vehicle Guide website -

4. The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) is a chamber of businesses variously promoting, developing and/or adopting sustainable energy technologies and services that minimise the use of energy through sustainable energy practices and maximise the use of energy from sustainable sources. WA SEA is supported by a growing membership of 215 industry members from a diversity of businesses.

5. Estimated government costs indicated in below:
Getting clunkers off the road:
• Currently around 60000 cars retired from WA roads each year (details here
• Government purchase and disposal of old licensed vehicle based on lowest market value to a maximum of $2000 per vehicle - a vehicle purchasing team in association with tasked with finding cars that are licensed and still considered roadworthy but fit the clunkers definition (>10 age, >13.8 litres per 100 km fuel consumption, poor safety rating)
• Should provide additionality - target to increase by 10 % = 6000 vehicles a year @$2000 - maximum cost $12 million.
• Need a partnership with scrap metal merchants through Waste Management Authority - will recover some investment through value in recycled metal

Replacing cars in assistance for disadvantaged families (cases identified jointly by Dept Community Services and WA COSS)
• To a maximum of perhaps 1000 cars per year
• To participate, vehicle to be disposed of must be replaced by a greener, more fuel efficient (ie be less than 7.4 litres per 100 km (set at half the national average of 13.8 l/100 km as calculated by the Aus Bureau Statistics) and safer vehicle (minimum five star rating)
• Need tendered suppliers to participate in the scheme to supply new vehicles to reduce supply cost, or simply involve second hand cars less than 3 years old - in particular, make use of ex government fleet, look for supporting buy-in from commercial fleet owners to sponsor.
• Potential maximum cost av $15,000 per car (costs minimised through use of 'new' second hand) - $15 million (maximum

Government support for all motorists:
• Waive stamp duty on all new green, safe vehicles; include waiver on cars less than 3 years old meeting green, safe vehicle criteria:
• Car would need to be less than 7.4 litres per 100 km (figure set at half the national average of 13.8 l/100 km as calculated by the Aus Bureau Statistics), car would have to have five star safety rating
• (car eligibilty listing through consultation with WA SEA, RAC, Dept Transport, and Road Safety Authority)
• Based on 50000 cars per year, under 25 000 cost - av stamp $500, cost - $25 million

Savings in carbon emissions and road accident not considered

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