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The Forum > Article Comments > Australia: an auto backwater > Comments

Australia: an auto backwater : Comments

By Lyn Allison, published 14/2/2008

Australia lags behind other countries by not requiring or encouraging the automotive industry and car buyers to move with the times.

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"People should be warned that gas guzzlers bought now will be prohibitively expensive to run and

have a nil resale value in just a few years."

These are key points.

Coalition and Labor governments have avoided saying these things especially about poor resale value. Instead both sides of politics have subsidised or bailed out makers of Big Aussie Sixes.

Toyota Corollas and Camrys seem to be running rings around Ford and Holden's bigger Sixes but Ford and Holden appear unwilling to attempt to make such smaller cars in Australia.

It appears easier for Ford and Holden to accept government money like Mistubishi did before it failed.

Pete
(Nissan 1.8 Tiida owner).
Posted by plantagenet, Thursday, 14 February 2008 9:14:47 AM
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A good article and more relative to ordinary people then the series of climate change articles appearing on OLO. Many issues can be generated from this article.

Lyn. Stop talking about public transport as a solution. Public transport does not take one from door to door and never will. Instead advocate a halt in population growth.

Cycling (not mentioned) is also not a solution. I am a cyclist and climbing a hill on the way to the office is hard and sweaty work. Besides, all the people who will ever be cyclists are on bikes now. The rest are not fit enough and have no interest in being fit enough. Once again - advocate a stop to the growth in population .

More roads, bridges and tunnels simply ease a problem for 2 or 3 years Ė and at enormous expense. We must stop the population growth or go under.

Finally, the Mitsubishi 380 with its 3.8 liter engine was a stupid $250 million mistake When the car was still on the drawing board the rise in fuel costs was well on the way up. Donít forget the government handouts of hundreds of millions to Mitsubishi. The taxpayer paid for that gamble that went wrong
Posted by healthwatcher, Thursday, 14 February 2008 9:33:51 AM
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Trust the Australian Democrats to prove that once again they are a thinking, intelligent and concerned group of politicians. Which is why Australians have canned them at the last few elections.They are pearls before swine.

Well said, Lynn.

The University of Tasmania has developed bolt-on attachments to inject hydrogen into diesel and petrol-engined vehicles. Why isn't our goverment jumping on this as a road to the future hydrogen economy? Australia now imports 1 000 000 cars per year for 21 000 000 people, costing on average $20 000 000 000 per year much of which is lost to foreign corporations. How stupid can you get?

Old cars can be retro-fitted to run on mixed hydrogen and petrol, if we want to reduce CO2. And for those who whinge about the price of petrol, beer is 7 to 10 times more expensive and no-one has stopped drinking beer. Or bottled water for that matter. So tax petrol to $4.50 per litre (beer in my local pub is $15 per litre) and put the tax back into building a hydrogen economy. Use solar power to crack water.
Posted by HenryVIII, Thursday, 14 February 2008 10:44:38 AM
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The real problem with Mitsubishi goes back a long way into inferior engine manufacture.
I really believe they were cheating on the public by not making engines that lasted.
For years I watched all of the older Mitsubishi Magnas and they all blew smoke.
My mechanic said to me, when I asked about Mitsubishi, "Dont buy them. They wont last".
Many Magna owners would also have known this junk engine problem and have steared away from further purchases.
Mitsubishi reaped what they sowed... and now theyre gone.
Posted by Gibo, Thursday, 14 February 2008 12:26:21 PM
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Unfortunately, cars sold in Australia since around 1990 are "Capitalist cars." They've been made in such a way so that home servicing has become impossible to most people thanks to the incorporation of computers, ABS and the like and all in the name of fuel efficiency. This earns more money for the dealerships and service people.

Our roads are fast becoming clogged with vehicles in very poor condition as many people in outlying suburbs buy into a secondhand market dealing with such cars. I know of several families who struggle with car maintenance woes. The spiraling cost of food and fuel does little to alleviate the problem, so they drive around in cars that are far from 'in tune' or in a dangerous state of repairs simply because 'dad' can't do the necessary work any more.

I agree mostly with Healthwatcher, but disagree with the stance on public transport. In the near future and due to peak oil, public transport will become over used in relation to capacity. The working class will no longer be able to afford fuel for their cars and some will lose their jobs because of it. Those living close to PT will be forced to use it, but it will fast become unviable due to overcrowding if more PT infrastructure isn't forthcoming very soon. This needs to be implemented NOW!

HenryV111, we really need to get away from the myth of Hydrogen. It's so intensive to manufacture, it actually uses as much energy to make as is created by burning it. It's an energy carrier, not an energy source. Yes, it will have limited application, but considering the rare elements used to crack Hydrogen from water, elements which are becoming even more scarce, we'll never see the day when Hydrogen makes an iota of difference.

People really need to realise that once oil becomes too difficult to extract in quantities necessary to keep up with demand, Western culture and that of developing Nations will change for ever and it won't be a steady ride to the bottom.
Aime.
Posted by Aime, Thursday, 14 February 2008 12:59:33 PM
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Hurrah for Lyn and the Democrats, may fortune smile on your courage. Keep your policy proposals current, the MSM is sure to break out of its irrelevance coma eventually.

I appreciate this article was re car industry subsidies in particular, but would have liked more emphasis on not-cars as replacement for oil. Peak oil is not just about how much left of those black liquids, its also about the bigger issue of net energy, or how much energy we bipeds can effectively extract and make use of. Hydrogen & electric cars are not new energy sources, and so don't solve much at all (same applies to biofuels). Looking a bit further forward, what energy we can produce post-peak fossil fuels (coal & natural gas being arguably not more than a few decades behind oil) will be needed for essentials, not fetching McHappy meals in the comfort of my SUV.
In short, peak oil demands cultural change, and instead of alt.fuels should be pushing alt.transport and less transport.

Healthwatcher, i find your dismissal of PT & bikes pretty unconvincing, only a small proportion of population (the infirm) require PT to their door, and local taxi's could solve their PT problem immediately. Nearly all of the rest of us NEED to get more exercise, walking to the train/bus/tram/lightrail/carpool stop is no Mt Everest. As to arriving at work sweaty on yr bike, your employer is obviously still a fossil fool and needs to be encouraged to provide showers. As exercise makes workers more productive should be able get his accountant onside too!
Posted by Liam, Thursday, 14 February 2008 1:21:35 PM
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