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New pollution standards for vehicles

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The Gillard Labor Government will impose strict new emissions standards on all new cars, 4WDs and Utes sold in Australia, action which will lead to cleaner skies and reduce the nation’s public health bill by more than $1.5 billion over the two decades.

The tougher standards target the pollutants responsible for the formation of smog over our major cities and health problems such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

Once fully implemented in 2018, the new laws will cut a new car’s maximum allowable emissions of:

• Hydrocarbons by up to 50 per cent; • Oxides of nitrogen by up to 70 per cent; and • Particulate matter by up to 90 per cent.

The full implementation timetable is attached.

Over time the new standards will lead to cleaner, healthier skies.

While the air quality in our cities has improved significantly in recent years, the continuing growth in the number of vehicles on the road means we must remain vigilant and where possible deploy new, more effective technologies.

For example, Sydney still records as many as 20 high pollution days a year and in most years exceeds the national goals for ozone.

There will of course be a cost associated with this decision, particularly in the case of diesel vehicles. But this is more than offset by the public health benefits and the industry has indicated its willingness to embrace the challenge.

Importantly, we’ve listened to the manufacturers and gone with an implementation timeframe which strikes the right balance between minimising the cost to consumers while maximising the public health benefits.

The European Union has started implementing these tougher standards and similar regulations are already in place in the US, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

The full analysis is at:

A separate process is currently underway on the development of new CO2 emission standards for introduction in 2015.

Media contact: Jeff Singleton 0410 476 890

Saturday, 11 June 2011