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Wednesday, 13 August 2003
Page: 18507

Mr Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 25 June 2003:

(1) Is he able to say whether, overall, four-wheel-drive passenger vehicles sold in Australia have poorer average fuel economy than two-wheel-drive passenger vehicles.

(2) Does Australia's tariff rate encourage the importation of a larger number of four-wheel-drive passenger vehicles than would otherwise occur if the rate of tariff for these vehicles and two-wheel-drive passenger vehicles was the same; if so, how many more four-wheel-drive passenger vehicles have been imported than would otherwise have been the case.

Dr Kemp (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Fuel consumption is not a function of a vehicle being a four-wheel-drive vehicle or a two-wheel-drive vehicle. Fuel consumption is determined by factors such as the size of the vehicle, its weight, aerodynamic characteristics and engine technology.

(2) This question should be directed to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources.