The Opposition's fuel and energy policy was very short on new ideas, Fuel and Energy Minister Geoff Gallop said today.
"It also contains a fatal flaw - its proposals to promote household solar hot-water systems and natural-gas power in Transperth buses would both be undermined by GST," Dr Gallop said.
"Solar collectors, one of the main components of solar panels, are tax exempt under Labor. Under GST, they would not be, and the cost of installing solar systems would rise by 15 per cent.
"As well, LPG and natural gas are exempt from fuel excise, which makes them so attractive to people who want to swap their vehicles over from petrol or diesel.
"Under GST, almost all of that price difference will be lost, and there would be no advantage in Transperth buses running on gas."
Dr Gallop said the coalition had come up with a tired list of so-called initiatives which, in reality, would do little to help Western Australian families and industry.
"However, there are some worthwhile proposals in the policy - and they are the ones already announced by the Government, or already in place," he said.
"For instance, the plan to promote energy-efficient house design and positioning is not as significant as the Government's proposal to give a $2000 rebate to people who build energy-efficient homes on Government subdivisions.
"For instance, the plan to put energy efficiency labelling on major household appliances is not as far-reaching as the Government's proposal to legislate for mandatory efficiency labelling on electrical appliances, as one means of putting more emphasis on renewable energy, and promoting conservation.
"As well, the coalition says it will introduce an off-peak electricity tariff for Western Australian households. This is already available for direct-wired appliances - householders can have meters installed which will save them money in this way."
Dr Gallop said that in contrast to the Opposition's plan to lower off-peak tariffs and help industry, the Government had a continuing commitment to lowering tariffs, and businesses are already seeing the benefits of that.
"The Government has already announced that it will provide $3.5 million to mining and manufacturing industries to help them identify ways to save energy, and provide the equipment to do it," he said.