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Government tax package costs 65 lives per year.



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Media Release

 

Dee Margetts

Senator for Western Australia, The Greens (WA)

 

Government Tax Package Costs 65 Lives Per Year

 

1 March 1999

 

Dr Clive Hamilton, of the Australia Institute told the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Information Technology, Communication and the Arts today that his calculations indicate that the Tax Package will result in 65 deaths per year from increased air pollution and road deaths.

 

Greens (WA) Senator Dee Margetts, a member of the Senate Committee said, “the Government cannot go ahead with the reduction in diesel excise with this kind of evidence available”.

 

“The Treasurer cannot keep running the line that he wants the whole package through  unamended - or else he will have 65 extra deaths per year on his head”, said Senator Margetts.

 

“The Committee has already received overwhelming and unequivocal evidence that the reduction in diesel excise will result in severe environmental damage including an increase in air pollution, traffic congestion, noise pollution and greenhouse gases - the 65 deaths is the last nail in the coffin for the reduction in diesel excise”, said Senator Margetts.

 

The Committee also heard evidence from Dr Hamilton and Greenpeace that the reduction in diesel excise was not in the long term interests of rural and regional communities.

 

“Making diesel cheaper is a short-sighted solution to the problems facing people in  the bush. It will increase their reliance on fossil fuels that will be more expensive in the long run. It would be better to use some of the $3.5 billion lost revenue to provide subsidies to help people in the bush to use renewable energy like solar and wind”, said Senator Margetts.

 

“It is clear that the diesel excise reduction has major costs - human lives, environmental and lost revenue. I challenge the Government to explain where the benefits are and how they possibly outweigh the costs”, concluded Senator Margetts.

 

End

 

For further comment - Dee Margetts (08) 9470 2688 or Liz Peak 0417 993 971

 

 

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