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Auto sector unites to build a pathway to a low emissions future

Parliamentarians, automotive sector peak bodies and industry representatives were at a Parliament House forum in Canberra last night to discuss making low emission vehicles more accessible and affordable for all Australians. 

The Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, and the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon Bridget McKenzie, spoke at the forum hosted by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries and the Australian Automotive Dealer Association. 

Delivering the keynote address, Mr Bowen reinforced the seriousness of the issue and his commitment to the process, calling for a sensible conversation around the soon to be released discussion paper. 

He went on to say that Australia was the only OECD country without fuel efficiency standards and with no clear plan to reduce emissions from our vehicle fleet, putting us at the end of the queue when it comes to global car makers allocating the world’s best zero and low emission vehicles to our market. 

Mr Bowen commended the industry in Australia for recognising the challenges and said the Government wants to implement supportive and accommodative policy settings that everyone can embrace to address the fact that we are behind the rest of the world. 

The Hon Bridget McKenzie said she was buoyed by traditional industry competitors coming together on the path to a low emissions future in a way that is pragmatic and recognises our country’s unique advantages and challenges. 

During the panel discussion moderated by David Speers, automotive industry peak bodies were unified in their support to reduce emissions and transition to electrification while considering the needs of all Australian drivers. 

FCAI Chief Executive, Tony Weber said ongoing collaboration and cooperation was needed to bring people together and inform a plan that was realistic and achievable. 

“Industry supports an evidence-based plan that reflects affordability issues and availability constraints, local evidence and global experience. This will bring positive outcomes for the planet and for Australian consumers,” he added. 

In addition to the FCAI and AADA, organisations represented at the forum were the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), Australian Automobile Association (AAA), National Automotive Leasing and Salary Packaging Association (NALSPA), the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA) and Deloitte.