Tax Reforms Raise Concerns for Environment and Motorists


Reductions in diesel fuel excise included in the Federal Government's tax reform proposals will have a significant negative impact on the environment, according to Professor Trevor Cairney of the University of Western Sydney.


"The results of these price changes are obvious," he says. "Natural gas, the clean-burning, non-polluting fuel, will not be able to compete with diesel fuel, which emits a very much higher level of pollution."


Professor Cairney is a member of the task force for the Greater Western Sydney Natural Gas Vehicle Project, which aims to improve air quality by using cleaner fuels in motor vehicles.


His concerns are reported in the latest issue of the Australian Automobile Association's quarterly journal, Motoring Directions.


Other concerns about the implications of the tax reforms are raised by the AAA itself.


The national motoring body calculates that petrol excise will need to be reduced by 8.9 cents per litre before applying the GST to ensure pump prices do not rise in many country towns.


The AAA is also calling for transitional provisions of the GST legislation to be changed so that membership subscriptions which are normally renewed annually are not affected by the GST until they are invoiced after July 1, 2000.

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