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Carr must act on State Government discrimination against Australian-made cars.



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- MEDIA RELEASE - SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Media enquiries: Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666 1

A08116 4th December 2008

Carr must act on State Government discrimination against Australian-made cars

Today’s 22.2 percent decline in new car sales are further confirmation that Australian car and components manufacturers are under severe pressure.

While the Government trumpets its car package, Appropriations bills tabled in Parliament today reveal that only $16.4 million will be spent this financial year - and $8.5 million of that is to retrain retrenched car industry workers.

On top of this, in Senate Question Time today, it was revealed that Industry Minister Kim Carr is apparently unaware of the fact that the Australian Government website, www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au, is being used by both the Queensland and Tasmanian State Labor Governments to actively discriminate against Australian-made Falcons and

Commodores for their vehicle fleets.

Both these State Government mandate a minimum 5.5 rating for their fleet cars as defined on www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au. Falcon and Commodore each score 5.0.

Fleet sales make up nearly 80 percent of local sales of Australian-made cars.

The Rudd Labor Government is complicit in discriminating against Australian-made cars through their Green Vehicle Guide website, at a time when sales of locally made vehicles are sharply falling.

Minister Carr must immediately act to end this discrimination.

He could start by demanding that the Government’s discriminatory Green Vehicle Guide website be decoupled from State Government procurement policies.

ENDS.