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State Government to provide cash for motorists to take up the gas option (with pic.)
20/10/2000 12:00 AM
The State Government will establish an incentive scheme to assist people to purchase liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered vehicles and convert existing vehicles to LPG.
Announcing the scheme today, Premier Richard Court said the Government would contribute $500 per vehicle towards the cost of a new LPG-powered vehicle, or the conversion of petrol-powered vehicles.
“The cost of LPG conversion - up to $2,500 in some instances - has been a substantial impediment to the use of LPG in motor vehicles,” Mr Court said.
“Under the incentive scheme, the $500 subsidy can be paid to either the vehicle owner or a gas fitter. This provides an option for the gas fitter to discount the retail cost of the conversion by the value of the subsidy at the point of sale.”
The cash incentive would be available to the owners of vehicles on which the family rebate on registration is claimed. About three quarters of cars fall into this category.
Mr Court said the incentive scheme reflected the State Government’s commitment to encouraging greater use of LPG at a time when motorists were ‘feeling the pinch’ from rising petrol prices.
“The reason we are prepared to proceed with the scheme is that we have received a commitment from the Federal Treasurer that the Commonwealth will not impose an excise on LPG - ensuring it will remain extremely price competitive,” he said.
“Some vehicle manufacturers have also taken up the LPG challenge, for example Ford has recently entered the market with a new range of dedicated gas vehicles.
“A subsidy for LPG conversion was also one of the recommendations of the Select Committee on Pricing of Petroleum Products - chaired by the Member for Mitchell, Dan Sullivan.
“Not only is LPG more attractive for the hip pocket of motorists, it also has significant environmental benefits.
“LPG provides a reduction in greenhouse gases of around 15 to 20 per cent, and around 20 per cent less smog-forming emissions.”
Mr Court said the scheme would cost a total of $3.3 million with $2.3 million being allocated to the 2000-2001 financial year and the remainder the following year.
The Premier said State Cabinet had also endorsed the conversion of part of the Government car fleet to LPG.
There are 8,500 vehicles in the Government fleet.
“Government cars are generally resold after two years and a substantial LPG component in the fleet would potentially increase the rate at which LPG would be taken up by car users,” the Premier said.
“We would like to see at least a quarter of the Government’s replacement 6 cylinder vehicles converted to LPG in the first 12 months.”
Mr Court said it was common sense to promote increased use of LPG in Western Australia.
“WA’s capacity to produce LPG far exceeds the State’s current demand,” he said.
“This scheme will make LPG available to more people, and of course, ultimately save them money.
“Increased demand will also lead to an improved autogas distribution network throughout the State.”
The scheme will be administered by the Department of Transport and a detailed advertising campaign will begin shortly.
Mr Court said LPG suppliers had expressed support for the scheme and some had offered to provide additional incentives to users of their LPG.
Media contact: Casey Cahill - 9222 9475
Premier Richard Court and the Chair of the Select Committee on Pricing of Petroleum Products, Mitchell MLA Dan Sullivan, fill up with LPG after announcing the new subsidy.