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Rudd's car « Previous | |Next »
June 14, 2008

Rudd would be taken more seriously if he also started talking in terms of improving public transport to help deal with the impact of higher petrol prices from the emissions trading scheme. Isn't expanding public transport networks a high priority in Australia?

Rudd'scare.jpg Leak

What we have is Rudd attacking Asian petrol price subsidies in a bid to curb regional demand and bring pump prices down for Australian motorists and is pushing to get them to abolish their petrol subsidies and price caps in the name of free trade. Higher petrol prices are bad in Australia but good in India and, China and Indonesia?

This strategy, like demanding that OPEC increase oil production, seems to be for domestic consumption--the Rudd Government has to be seen to be doing something so as to block the political pain. However, the demand from fuel users for help to cope with the pain from soaring fuel costs jars with the Rudd Government's advocacy of measures to discourage the use of fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse emissions.

For years, public transport advocates have argued for federal funding for public transport infrastructure. Roads got all the money, we argued, and we were right. Do we now we have a Prime Minister who wants to give major federal bucks to public transport projects?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:25 PM | | Comments (3)
Comments

Comments

Gary,
protests against soaring food and fuel prices are mounting around the world. The poor – and even the middle classes – are seeing their incomes squeezed as the global economy enters a slowdown.

It's not just Australia where people are protesting and wanting governments to do something. People see their way of life threatened and they are anxious. If the Government is serious about climate change, then they should use the taxation system to lower the cost of fuel-efficient cars and increase the price of gas-guzzlers. Don't we want soaring fuel prices to cause hundreds of thousands to switch to public transport? So why not allow people to claim the cost of public transport to and from work as work expenses.

Nan,
there are certainly are mixed messages and stalling tactics by the Rudd Government.

It's troubling given that we are looking at temperature increases between 2-3 degrees and that carbon dioxide emissions are increasing at a rate much faster than expected-- driven by increasing per capita wealth?

Gary,
Indonesia + Malaysia have reduced petrol subsidies and raised domestic petrol and diesel prices. They had to as these subsidies placed severe pressure on public finances. That was not acknowledged by Rudd.

In both China and India the refiners pay world market prices for the crude oil they turn into products. They sell this at a loss---as petrol adn diesel prioces are kep tarticially low to protect consumers--- and the state provides a reimbursment to cover the gap.

If China increases petrol prices too fast this feeds into inflation, which is already running at over 8 per cent.