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

Certainly, Mr Speaker, and I appreciate the guidance. Australia does have a lot of catching up to do with the United States, who introduced these standards in the mid-1970s; we are seeking to catch up with them, yes, and that means we are ambitious. We are ambitious not for ourselves but for the Australian people to catch up with the United States.

We're not the only ones. The member for Bradfield said in his statement—and it's directly relevant to international comparisons. He said:

Although Australia accounts for less than two per cent of the global new vehicle market, it is becoming increasingly important that we harmonise our approaches to vehicle emissions with those in place in other countries.

That is what we are seeking to do. We're not seeking to catch up with New Zealand or Europe, which have more ambitious standards. We are seeking to catch up with the United States.

It is the case that they did it in the 1970s. We are trying to implement them in 2024, which comes considerably too late when you consider that John Howard went to the 2001 election promising, 'The coalition is negotiating new fuel efficiency standards for motor vehicles to reduce the amount of fuel consumed per kilometre travelled.' The Liberals kept talking about it. We will deliver it.


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