Government’s ‘carbon tax’ is extreme: RACQ

The State’s peak motoring body has described the Turnbull Government’s carbon emissions proposal as ‘extreme and unworkable’.

RACQ claimed the price of Australia’s most popular vehicles would go up by more than $5000 if the ‘carbon tax’ on cars went through.

The Courier Mail revealed the Government’s 2022 carbon emissions target would see penalties slapped on car manufacturers who fail to meet the new fuel efficiency targets.

A surcharge of $100 for every gram of carbon per km emitted would be put to car distributors who go over or fail to offset the emissions.

RACQ’s Paul Turner said the proposal would mean Australia would have one of the toughest CO2 regimes in the world.

“This would add thousands to the cost of a new car and significantly restrict the choice for motorists in Australia,” Mr Turner said.

“This extreme policy would significantly impact many Queensland drivers from being able to afford to own and run a car.

“While the penalties look like they’ll cost the manufacturers, the reality is they’ll be passed onto the consumer.”

Mr Turner said under the proposal not one of the top 20 best-selling cars in Australia would be legal.

“While we support finding a way to lower carbon emissions and greater fuel efficiency, it can’t come at the cost of being able to drive the car you want,” he said.

“It’s ludicrous to think under these targets not a single Toyota car would be legal, not even a Prius.”

Modelling by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), who represented the nation’s motoring organisations including RACQ, found emission targets would add $3925 to the price of a Toyota Corolla Ascent.

The Government’s own research showed there were only 18 vehicles currently available in the Australian market that would meet Target A.

The cars that meet the standard include variants of Jaguar, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles, with their average cost being more than $120,000.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact this will have on the age of the vehicle fleet and the implications for road safety,” AAA CEO Michael Bradley said.

“Increasing the cost of buying a car only means older, less efficient cars and less safe cars will stay in the fleet longer and undermine the government’s objectives.”

A spokesman for the ­Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development said the government had not made a decision on the proposal and was for “consultation only”.