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Public transport and alternative energy are better longer term investments.

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Senator Meg Lees Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Treasury

Press Release Dated: 26 Nov 2000

Press Release Number: 00/716 Portfolio: Treasury Related: Energy and Resources

Public transport & alternative energy are better longer term investments Improved public transport, funding for the development of alternative energy sources and encouragement for fuel-efficient vehicles would be better long-term investments than concentrating funding solely on roads, according to the Australian Democrats.

Democrats’ Leader, Senator Meg Lees, responding to the Prime Minister’s comments today on the Nine Networks’ Sunday program, acknowledged the importance of upgrading some roads in regional and rural areas, but said the Government cannot afford to neglect strategies for reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

“The Prime Minister says the roads funding package to be announced on Monday is a better long-term investment in Australia’s future than decreasing the petrol excise,” said Senator Lees. “Certainly, more roads funding will be welcomed by many motorists, especially in rural and regional areas.”

“But, apart from refunding between 1.5 to 2 cents per litre to keep to its pre-GST promise, an even better long-term strategy for the Government would be to recognise the importance of both public transport and alternative energy sources.

“As these oil prices are likely to be more or less permanent, the Federal Government should be looking at ways to increase the attractiveness of public transport, developing alternative fuels and promoting cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

“In the cities, particularly, people need to out of the cars and into public transport as much as possible.

“The Democrats call on the Government to kick-start a local market for alternatively fuelled vehicles, including hybrid cars,” Senator Lees said. “A hybrid car is now on the market in California because government regulations there actually encourage such vehicles.”

“Holden has joined forces with the CSIRO to produce an electric hybrid car but the company needs an incentive to commit to


“Promoting the use of and providing incentives to use LPG and Compressed Natural Gas are other ways in which the Government could reduce Australia’s reliance on petrol as well as our appalling greenhouse gas emissions which have risen 17% since 1990.

“The Democrats are interested in addressing a future which actually extends beyond the next election. Australia deserves better than two contenders for government who have no interest in what lies over the next electoral horizon,” Senator Lees concluded.


Top | Email | Tell us what you think Authorised by: Jim Downey, 10 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2604. Copyright © 2000 Australian Democrats Last modified: Thu, 18 May 2000 13:51:26 Today: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 08:36:55