Want new trucks? Abbott may help, ATA says

ATA claims operators with old vehicles may benefit under Coalition's proposed climate change policy

Brad Gardner | February 3, 2010

The peak trucking lobby claims operators with old vehicles may benefit under the Coalition’s proposed climate change policy.

While stopping short of saying it supports the alternative to emissions trading, the Australian Trucking Association says operators may be given an incentive to invest in newer trucks.

Under the plan announced yesterday, the Opposition will reward companies that reduce their emissions below their historical average by allowing them to sell the abatement to the Government.

The money is intended to come from a $2.5 billion emission reduction fund, with the entire climate change plan costing $3.2 billion over four years and beginning in the middle of next year.

"With the right incentives, trucking companies can achieve large improvements in fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions by renewing their fleets," ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says.

"The fund could also give more companies the opportunity to switch to alternative fuels, such as LNG."

But much of Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s plan remains unclear, such as what restrictions may be placed on the abatement and whether the climate change policy is an effective long-term solution.

And while businesses will be fined for exceeding their baseline emissions, there is no word on what the fine will be.

The ATA has been an ardent supporter of the Rudd Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) which aims to establish emissions trading.

Under the CPRS, emissions will capped. Businesses that exceed the cap will need to purchase trading permits. Those companies that reduce their emissions will be able to sell their permits in the marketplace.

Although the Government’s proposal has been defeated twice, the Bill to enact the CPRS was again introduced into parliament yesterday.

Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change Greg Combet says the scheme is the best method to reduce emissions at the lowest cost to Australia.

"The Opposition leader’s climate change plan in nothing more than a climate con job," Combet says.
He says there is no guarantee the Opposition’s scheme will cut emissions because no cap has been announced.

"If the Opposition still has any credibility, character or consistency, they will support this legislation…," Combet says.

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