House debates

Monday, 18 March 2024

Questions without Notice

Fuel Efficiency Standards

4:38 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Climate Change and Energy) Share this | Hansard source

I really do thank the honourable gentleman for his question. The question goes to bringing Australia in line with the policies in other countries, and that is a fair point for the honourable member to make, because it is the fact that Australia and Russia are the only two major economies without vehicle efficiency standards in place. The United States has had them in place since the mid-1970s—introduced, to be fair, by a conservative administration; President Gerald R Ford introduced vehicle efficiency standards in the United States at the time. It is the case that we had considerable catching up to do with the rest of the world, because the rest of the world has been introducing these standards and because Australia has been so late to the party when it comes to introducing the standards. Several governments have tried, but until now no government has followed through and delivered for Australian motorists.

I've been reflecting over the parliamentary break, and I think I've been unfair to the member for Bradfield. I have pointed out his strong support for vehicle efficiency standards, but I think an observer could reach the conclusion that he was the only one on the other side. To his credit, he is a strong supporter of vehicle efficiency standards, but he wasn't the only one. Indeed, he of course had joint carriage with the then member for Kooyong and the then member for Flinders, Mr Hunt. He took it through cabinet on several occasions, to his credit. Everyone who was in cabinet at that time in 2016 and 2017 obviously signed it off. The Leader of the Opposition would have been in favour of it. There was a joint media statement—a big gold crest on the media statement—from all three ministers. It said in relation to the honourable member's question about international standards—


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