Let the bat­tle be­gin

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - By PAUL GOVER


THE Can­berra car cash needed to kick 200,000 big pol­luters off Aus­tralian roads has been de­layed un­til July.

The $394 mil­lion for the green scheme is on hold while the fine de­tail of the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s Cleaner Car Re­bate Scheme, part of its elec­tion plat­form, is de­cided un­der the di­rec­tion of the In­no­va­tion, In­dus­try, Sci­ence and Re­search Min­is­ter Sen­a­tor Kim Carr.

It was orig­i­nally planned to fire up in Jan­uary.

‘‘We have to get this right,’’ Sen­a­tor Carr said.

‘‘We need to make sure all the de­tail is cor­rect.’’

The scheme is in­tended to give the own­ers of pre-1995 clunkers a fi­nan­cial boost to put them into new cars, with their ve­hi­cles then sent to the scrap heap for re­cy­cling.

Carr said there is work to be done on where the $2000-a-car re­bate is paid — the owner, car dealer or scrap­yard — and fine de­tail on which cars qual­ify on both sides of the fence, clunkers and greener new cars.

But the scheme un­der at­tack from sev­eral fronts, in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Au­to­mo­tive Af­ter­mar­ket As­so­ci­a­tion which says it is ill-con­ceived.

‘‘This is an­other pink batts de­ba­cle wait­ing to hap­pen, but this one is on wheels,’’ AAAA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Stu­art Char­ity said.

The AAAA says the re­bate plan does not take ac­count of the over­all en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

‘‘Re­search shows that up to 20 per cent of a cars life-cy­cle emis­sions are pro­duced dur­ing its man­u­fac­ture and that, from an en­vi­ron­men­tal per­spec­tive, the op­ti­mal ve­hi­cle life is 19 years,’’ Char­ity said.

‘‘Do we need to give 200,000 peo­ple $2000 of tax­pay­ers money to buy an im­ported car that delivers av­er­age en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance, when the car they own now could achieve sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in emis­sions per­for­mance af­ter a sim­ple ser­vice?’’

But Carr says the govern­ment is com­mit­ted to the scheme.

Sen­a­tor Carr ... the govern­ment is com­mit­ted to the cash for clunkers scheme

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