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by Tim Beissmann

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings has put the brakes on her government’s car fleet as she aims to reduce the amount of money spent on its vehicles every year.

The fleet of 569 cars includes 79 Subaru Outbacks, 55 Volvos, 29 BMW 3 Series’, seven Mercedes-Benz C-Classes and six Toyota Prados, as well as hundreds of other vehicles.

The entire Tasmanian Government fleet is worth around $33.3 million, which means the average price of each vehicle more than $58,500. The most inexpensive model in the fleet is the Mazda3 – of which there are just three.

Ms Giddings said a range of new cost cutting measures would save the government up to $5 million every year.

The revised regulations will reduce the size of the fleet by 10 percent (about 57 cars). Access to prestige vehicles will be removed and the range of vehicles available to MPs, agency heads, SES officers, etc. will be limited. Lease periods will be extended from 24 months/40,000km to 36 months/60,000km and fringe benefits tax costs will be cut through reducing private use of government vehicles.

Ms Giddings said many of the government’s expensive European cars were leased at a time when they were the only ones that met the highest emissions standards.

“That has changed in recent years which means we can source cheaper and preferably Australian-built vehicles while still minimising our carbon-footprint,” she said.

“We have not resiled from our ambitious carbon pollution reduction targets.

“Hybrid vehicles such as the Prius and Hybrid Camry have become more affordable in recent years and will remain on the fleet car list, in addition to fuel efficient diesels.”

The measures will be introduced immediately, with savings to accumulate as existing leases expire.

“I will be writing to all ministers seeking the immediate implementation of these actions within their agencies,” Ms Giddings said.

“I have also asked Treasury to undertake further work on the operation of the car fleet to determine whether there are any other opportunities for savings to be made.”




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