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Labor's car clunker open to rorts and waste.

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Sophie Mirabella Liberal Member for Indi

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Labor's car clunker open to rorts and waste


Julia Gillard’s ill-conceived ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme will be open to rorts, will distort the new and used car markets and will cost local jobs, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Sophie Mirabella today warned.

Labor will spend $394 million of taxpayers’ money to give $2000 hand-outs to people who trade-in pre-1995 cars on predominantly overseas manufactured new vehicles. Mrs Mirabella said international experience demonstrates that this type of program favours cheap imports at the expense of locally manufactured cars.

“This is a deeply flawed program with the Toyota Camry and Hybrid Camry the only eligible Australian-made vehicles. It will inevitably undermine local jobs,” she said. Today the South Australian state executive director of the Motor Trade Association, John Chapman, also warned that Labor’s program will “distort the market if people can go out and pick up an old bomb for a few hundred dollars and then trade it in for the $2,000 rebate”.

Mrs Mirabella said this program would also do little to assist those it is supposedly meant to benefit and will also result in the price of cars being artificially inflated. “Many people drive older cars because they are understandably on tight budgets so a $2,000 rebate will not put them in the position to borrow another $20,000 or more to upgrade their vehicles.

“This is the most ill-thought-out program imaginable and will inevitably result in the Gillard Government wasting tens-of-millions of taxpayer dollars,” Mrs Mirabella said. Mrs Mirabella said the program was also cynically designed to boost Labor’s dubious green credentials, but the cost of projected CO2 abatement under the program was astronomical.

“Under this program, Labor will be paying a staggering $394 per tonne of CO2 abatement, when the government’s own discredited ETS priced carbon at less than $30 per tonne,” Mrs Mirabella said.