The Federal government has insisted it will not impose a carbon tax on cars, comparing the likelihood to an Elvis return.
The Coalition hosed down reports of a new vehicle emissions standard, which industry sources suggest would push the price of a new car up by as much as $5000.
But Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg described the reports as a beat-up as consultations of fuel efficiency standards have been ongoing since October 2015.
“There is as much chance of a carbon tax on cars as Elvis making a comeback,” he told the ABC.
“The only thing the government is interested in is how do we reduce the fuel costs for families on their vehicles.
“People are getting ahead of themselves here.”
Conservative Liberal senator Eric Abetz – who heads the industry consultations alongside Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher – praised the government for “strongly” putting the “issue back into the cupboard where it belongs”.
“The suggestion that the department put out had all the hallmarks of a mini-carbon tax,” he told Sky News.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in London on Tuesday he had not seen the reports.
“Certainly no decisions have been made in that regard at all,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in London.
Peak motoring body the Australian Australian Automobile Association (AAA) said if the new model were implemented it could stop people from buying new cars and see them instead retain their older vehicles.
“Even the makers of the Toyota Prius would be penalised under the government’s proposed emission scheme rules,” AAA chief executive Michael Bradley told ABC radio on Wednesday.
Australia’s emissions standards for new vehicles have been in place since the early 1970s and have been progressively tightened over the years.
A draft plan on potential measures to reduce vehicle emissions is due to go to the Federal government later this year.
– with AAP