Productivity Commission paints bleak picture for automotive manufacturing industry workers
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Productivity Commission paints bleak picture for automotive manufacturing industry workers

The Productivity Commission has painted a bleak picture for workers in Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry. In its final report on the industry, released yesterday, the Productivity Commission says up to 40,000 Australians will lose their jobs when local automotive manufacturing ends in 2017...


Productivity Commission calls on government to scrap luxury car tax
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Productivity Commission calls on government to scrap luxury car tax

The Productivity Commission has called on the Federal Government to consider scrapping the luxury car tax (LCT). In its final report on the Australian automotive manufacturing industry, the Productivity Commission labels the LCT “arbitrary in its effect” and “a higher-cost and less efficient method of raising revenue than more broadly based taxes”...


Government says Australia won't become a "dumping ground" for old used imports
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Government says Australia won't become a "dumping ground" for old used imports

The Federal Government says it has no intention of allowing Australia to become a “dumping ground” for other countries’ old vehicles, referring to the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to relax the restrictions on the importation of second-hand passenger and light-commercial vehicles...


Northern Territory extends open speed limit trial
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Northern Territory extends open speed limit trial

The Northern Territory Government has added a new stretch of the Stuart Highway to its open speed limit network. From September 1, the open speed limit trial will include 72km of the highway from Barrow Creek to just south of the Ali Curung Rail Overpass...


Cash-strapped motorists hit by higher fuel excise could scrimp on vehicle servicing, claims peak body
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Cash-strapped motorists hit by higher fuel excise could scrimp on vehicle servicing, claims peak body

Victoria’s peak automotive industry body today made the interesting claim that the Federal Government’s proposed increases to the fuel excise could render low-income car owners less able to keep their vehicles adequately serviced, thereby leading to more unsafe cars on the road.  As part of its 2014 Federal Budget, the Abbott Government announced plans to raise $2...


High-tech speed cameras headed for Victoria
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High-tech speed cameras headed for Victoria

High-tech speed cameras that can identify vehicles travelling in either direction and across eight lanes of traffic will be introduced throughout Victoria over the next four years. Victorian minister for police and emergency services Kim Wells confirmed the state’s 141 mobile speed cameras would be replaced with the new technology before the end of 2018...


Japan to offer $20k subsidy on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles
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Japan to offer $20k subsidy on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his government will support the proliferation of series-production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles by offering 2 million yen ($21,000) subsidies to get the green technology onto the public radar.  The announcement comes as domestic car-makers such as Toyota and Honda gear up to launch their next-generation zero emissions hydrogen vehicles (called the Fuel Cell Vehicle and FCEV Concept respectively) from 2015...


Victorian Government, Opposition reject calls for 0.02 blood-alcohol limit
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Victorian Government, Opposition reject calls for 0.02 blood-alcohol limit

The Victorian Government and the Opposition have both rejected calls from Victoria Police and road safety experts to reduce the legal blood-alcohol limit to 0.02. Victoria Police this week reopened the debate over the current 0.05 blood-alcohol limit, claiming that reducing the legal limit would cut the number of deaths and the level of trauma caused by drink-drivers...


Australian car brands split on decision to pass on Luxury Car Tax savings
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Australian car brands split on decision to pass on Luxury Car Tax savings

Australia’s automotive brands are split in their decisions on whether to pass on the savings created by changes to the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) this week. The Australian Tax Office announced a $1568 increase to the LCT threshold from July 1, which sees the threshold rise to $61,884. (There has been no change to the threshold for ‘fuel-efficient cars’, which remains unchanged at $75,375)...


Road toll down 26 per cent since 2007, deaths of young road users almost halved
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Road toll down 26 per cent since 2007, deaths of young road users almost halved

Fatalities on Australian roads have decreased by more than a quarter over the past seven years, according to official government data. The ‘Road Deaths Australia 2013 Statistical Summary’ released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) shows the number of people killed in fatal crashes decreased 25...


China to scrap 11 million cars to help reduce air pollution
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China to scrap 11 million cars to help reduce air pollution

The Chinese Government will scrap up to 11 million ageing cars by the end of 2015 in an attempt to reduce the nation’s troubling air pollution levels. China’s State Council announced the plan to “eliminate” six million high-polluting pre-2005 vehicles by the end of this year and scrap a further five million from the country’s most polluted cities in 2015...


Australia's cars greener than ever, though still far worse than Europe - report
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Australia's cars greener than ever, though still far worse than Europe - report

Australia’s new vehicle fleet is ‘greener’ than ever before but our CO2 emissions average remains far above that of the UK and other European countries. The average CO2 emissions rating of all new passenger and light-commercial vehicles sold in Australia in 2013 improved 3.4 per cent to 192 grams per kilometre...


Budget 2014 : Automotive Transformation Scheme cuts will hurt workers, say politicians, industry
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Budget 2014 : Automotive Transformation Scheme cuts will hurt workers, say politicians, industry

The Federal Government’s decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the Automotive Transformation Scheme in its 2014 Budget has been criticised by politicians and local industry heavyweights. Treasurer Joe Hockey last night revealed the government would save $618.5 million over eight years by ending the ATS at the end of 2017, after Ford, Holden and Toyota have all ended local production...


Fuel excise increase to force up petrol prices - report
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Fuel excise increase to force up petrol prices - report

The Federal Government is reportedly set to increase the fuel excise for the first time in more than a decade, forcing millions of Australian motorists to pay more for petrol. ABC News reports next Tuesday’s Budget will include a change to the indexation of the fuel excise, which has stood still at 38.1 cents per litre since the Howard Government introduced the GST in 2001...


Federal Government expands automotive industry assistance fund to $155m
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Federal Government expands automotive industry assistance fund to $155m

The Federal Government has announced an expansion of the growth fund designed to create new jobs for Victorian and South Australian workers displaced by the dissolution of Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry. The fund, which was initially capped at $100 million when announced in December as part of the government’s National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, has been expanded to $155m...


US state takes extreme measures to combat work-zone speeding
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US state takes extreme measures to combat work-zone speeding

A wolf whistle will be the furthest thing from the minds of residents in the US state of Missouri as they pass through a work zone in future. The state has determined that the threat of hefty fines hasn't been enough to slow motorists down to the desired work zone speed. Now, they have a new weapon at their disposal, one that was designed for use in war zones and to break up violent protests and street demonstrations...


Northern Territory Government to extend open speed limit trial
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Northern Territory Government to extend open speed limit trial

A 12-month trial returning open speed limits to a 200km stretch of the Stuart Highway looks set to be extended only two months in, following comments by the Northern Territory's transport minister. Speaking on ABC radio, Peter Styles said he believes the trial – announced in October last year – has so far been a success, with people generally being responsible and driving to the conditions, and that the government is already preparing to extend it...


Japanese car makers weighing up how to pass on free-trade agreement benefits
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Japanese car makers weighing up how to pass on free-trade agreement benefits

Australia’s leading Japanese car importers insist it’s too early to say exactly how the benefits of the countries’ newly announced free-trade agreement will be passed on to consumers. Included in the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) reached overnight by prime ministers Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe is the removal of the five per cent import tariff on new Japanese vehicles...


Abbott "optimistic" on Australia-Japan FTA to remove vehicle tariffs
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Abbott "optimistic" on Australia-Japan FTA to remove vehicle tariffs

Prime Minster Tony Abbott is hopeful of finalising an historic free-trade agreement with Japan today that could improve the value of more than 350,000 Japanese vehicles sold in Australia every year. Reaching the end of a week-long delegation in Japan, Abbott last night told ABC News the negotiation process had been “difficult”, but said he was “optimistic” of reaching an agreement...


Tesla, car makers' alliance pushing to legalise side cameras
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Tesla, car makers' alliance pushing to legalise side cameras

On the same day as US safety regulators set a 2018 deadline for the standard implementation of reverse-view cameras in new vehicles, Tesla Motors and the US automotive industry’s key lobby group filed a petition pushing for the right to replace external mirrors with side-mounted cameras...