Thursday, 16 August 2007
Questions without Notice
My question today is addressed to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources. In thanking him and the Prime Minister for their support for Scottsdale, I ask if the minister would update the House on practical government measures to help Australian motorists to take advantage of cheaper fuel options.
I thank the member for Bass for his question and also congratulate him on his strong support for his constituents, particularly yesterday for the members of the Scottsdale community, who received some $6 million to ensure that over 350 jobs remain in that community. With that sort of community commitment, we will see the member for Bass returned to this place.
One year ago this week, the Howard government unveiled a practical initiative to help Australian families cope with rising fuel prices. The eight-year LPG vehicle conversion scheme offers motorists $1,000 towards the costs of an LPG dedicated vehicle or $2,000 towards the costs of converting a vehicle to LPG. This initiative has seen an unprecedented response from the general public. After 12 months, the rate of inquiry on this scheme continues to be very strong. We have seen more than 70,000 motorists convert their vehicles to LPG and take advantage of the cheaper fuel option. That has seen this government step in behind those motorists with $139 million worth of support. In some cases, these motorists have recouped their part of the conversion costs in as little as four months, and those savings are ongoing, thus easing the pressure on family budgets.
While this government has offered Australians tangible help on fuel prices, the members opposite have taken a very different approach. When it comes to addressing petrol prices, Labor promises—yet again—a more costly token bureaucracy with no guarantee of making any difference to the costs in family budgets. That is in stark contrast to the practical, on-the-ground assistance we see coming from this government and is more evidence of the lofty rhetoric from the Leader of the Opposition that has nothing to offer for Australian families.