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Plans to axe LPG conversion subsidy shows Rudd's hypocrisy on climate change and supporting working families.

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Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper


April 11, 2008

Plans to axe LPG conversion subsidy shows Rudd’s hypocrisy on climate change and supporting working families

Reports that the Rudd Government intends to scrap the LPG subsidy scheme highlight the hypocrisy of the Kevin Rudd’s position on climate change and support for working families.

The Nationals’ Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, today said there was increasing speculation the Government would cut the subsidy in the Federal Budget to be handed down in May.

The $670 million LPG Vehicle Scheme provides Australian motorists with $2,000 rebates to retro-fit a used-car with LPG, and $1,000 to fit a new car with LPG on the assembly line.

Mr Hartsuyker said Labor’s plan to scrap the scheme showed that Kevin Rudd was all symbolism and no substance.

“This is Kevin Rudd’s first real test on whether he is serious about reducing greenhouse emissions. Liquefied Petroleum Gas is one of the lowest greenhouse emitters of all the commercially available automotive fuels.

“At a time when Labor is spruiking its so-called “green car” fund, it is more than a little hypocritical that they would axe a scheme which encourages the use of a more environmentally-friendly fuel.”

Mr Hartsuyker said a cut in the subsidy would also hurt working families.

“Since the Coalition Government introduced this scheme around 120,000 Australians have converted their cars to LPG.

“LPG provides substantial savings over unleaded petrol. By removing the subsidy many Australians will choose not to convert their cars. That will add to the cost of motoring and be bad for the environment.”

Mr Hartsuyker said many mechanics would also be severely impacted by the axing of the LGP scheme.

“When the subsidy was announced in 2006, many mechanics invested substantial resources in staff training and installing equipment for LPG conversions. Therefore, if Mr Rudd scraps the scheme both motorists and small business people will be thousands of dollars out of pocket,” Mr Hartsuyker said.