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Tuesday, 26 November 1985
Page: 2290

Senator WALSH (Minister for Finance and Acting Minister for Resources and Energy)(9.37) —Regarding the disparity between some vehicles in the private sector and government vehicles, there is, I think, a partial explanation for that. Because of the exemption from the refined petroleum excise for LPG, there is some incentive for operators of vehicles in the private sector-provided that they have a high mileage and access to LPG supplies, and so on-to convert. This incentive is not really present with the government fleet because it is an internal transaction, essentially, so far as the Government as a whole is concerned.

On the broader question, it would appear that the targets which had been set down at the time that Senator Sir John Carrick was the responsible Minister would not be met. I am not so sure that that is a matter for concern. Both LPG and crude oil are internationally tradeable commodities, and the choice of whether one or the other should be taken is ultimately, I think, a question of the relative prices. But I shall see whether Senator Gareth Evans, when he returns, has anything to add to that, and, if so, supply it to Senator Sir John Carrick.