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Greens welcome New Car Plan: Rudd's first step towards 'Green New Deal'

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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania

Contact: Tim Hollo on 0437 587 562

media release

Greens welcome New Car Plan: Rudd’s first step towards ‘Green New Deal'

Canberra, Monday 10 November 2008 The Australian Greens today welcomed the Rudd Government’s first concrete acknowledgement that the path to economic recovery lies through a ‘Green New Deal’, but much more needs to be done.

“The Rudd Government deserves congratulations for recognising that it is only by putting Australia’s jobs and industry onto a greener footing that we will come through the global financial crisis stronger and better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead,” said Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Climate Change Spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne.

“The Green Car package is an important first step towards a ‘Green New Deal’, but there is still much to be done, for cars, for public transport, and for the wider economy. The Greens look forward to working closely with the Government to implement this broader green recovery plan.

"There is not a moment to lose as, around the world, President-elect Obama, Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy and Ban Ki Moon have all started putting their weight behind the new hot-growth industries of the green energy revolution.

"Mr Obama has announced a $150 billion investment in a clean energy economy, including accelerating the commercialisation of plug-in hybrid cars.

“Investing in putting the car manufacturing sector onto a greener footing is vitally important and something that the Greens have long been calling for. But the Government needs to recognise that that will not be enough.

“We need to see a ‘carrot and stick’ approach that provides financial support for re-tooling while also implementing mandatory vehicle fuel efficiency standards, changing the tax system and putting the Government’s money where its mouth is with its own fleet.

“Changing Government purchasing to fuel efficient, hybrid electric and, eventually, plug-in hybrid cars is one of the best ways to bring those cars onto Australian roads. With quick turnover into the second hand market, government fleet purchasing has a fast and direct impact on Australia’s total fleet, our fuel consumption and our greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Greens were pleased to work with the Government in greening up the Luxury Car tax in the Senate. With work in the Senate on this package to make it better targeted, we look forward to getting one sector of the Australian economy onto the ‘Green New Deal’.

“We look forward to discussing the next steps with the Government, investing in infrastructure for buses, trains and trams, rolling out energy efficiency upgrades across the country, and rebuilding Australia’s energy network for zero emissions renewable electricity.”