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New guidelines on vehicle fuel consumption claims



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MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS SENATOR MICHAEL TATE

13 MARCH 1992

NEW GUIDELINES ON VEHICLE FUEL CONSUMPTION CLAIMS

The Trade Practices Commission is to draft new guidelines for the advertising and labelling of fuel consumption claims for motor vehicles and accessories.

The Federal Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Senator Michael Tate, announced the new guidelines today when launching the Australian Consumers' Association's World Consumer Rights Day events.

Senator Tate said that as the theme chosen for this year's World Consumer Rights day celebration is "Choose for a Healthy Environment" this new initiative is particularly timely.

He said that the Government's interest in fuel consumption claims stems from its concern about the greenhouse problem.

The new guidelines will be published first in draft form in order to give industry and consumers sufficient opportunity to comment on them.

"They will update a 1980 guideline and will ensure that consumers receive accurate and reliable information about fuel consumption claims and that industry can avoid breaching the Trade Practices Act when making its claims," Senator Tate said.

"While the government recognises that there are many variables to be taken into account when measuring fuel consumption performance this does not mean that the problem should be thrown in the too hard basket.

"I hope the day will come where consumers automatically ask about the energy consumption rates of vehicles they wish to purchase in the same way as they now look to the energy ratings on white goods before deciding which product to buy," he said.

Senator Tate was speaking at the headquarters of the Australian Consumers' Association in Sydney, at a function where guests included Marrickville High School students.

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He urged the students, and all young Australians, to use their purchasing power in the manner which is the least detrimental to the environment.

"They should also make known to manufacturers their desire for less environmentally damaging products.

"The 1990's is the decade where consumers should no longer just consume and be silent, rather they must 'consume, make noise and live'", Senator Tate said.

For further information phone Adrian Wild in Senator Tate's Hobart office on 002/349100 or Allan Asher at the Trade practices Commission on 06/2642838.