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Barnaby Joyce's free petrol for everyone

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  • James Ward
    I heard in the news this morning that Senator Barnaby Joyce is pushing the government to do more about lowering petrol prices. On the face of it, this looks
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2006
      I heard in the news this morning that Senator Barnaby Joyce is
      pushing the government to do more about lowering petrol prices.

      On the face of it, this looks like a noble goal, "looking out for
      the battlers", that sort of thing. Certainly there are many people
      who are hurting pretty badly with high fuel prices.

      But let's look at it objectively for a moment.

      The average car in Australia consumes approximately 12L/100km and
      carries an average of about 1.7 people.

      There are cars that have been available (although not widely
      marketed in Australia) since the 1980s that will average 6L/100km.
      And almost all cars are capable of carrying at least 4 people. There
      are more recent developments that have enabled 4L/100km. There is
      even a company in Germany that is developing a 1.5L/100km 4-seater
      (www.loremo.com).

      Half the fuel consumption and double the passengers equals four
      times the fuel economy per person-kilometre.

      So if the efficient options are there, then why have we allowed
      ourselves to become so inefficient? Cheap fuel. There has been no
      incentive to conserve.

      Joyce is right to suggest that the Aussie battlers will need help to
      cope with high fuel prices, but simply bringing down the price of
      fuel (supposing the government could somehow do that!) will only
      contribute to the cause of the problem. We MUST face up to the real
      problem, and that means recognising that resources need to be more
      expensive. In the absence of any currently viable/scalable
      alternatives to oil, the best advice is to conserve this resource.

      We should all write to our local politician and tell them (to their
      surprise, no doubt) that we do NOT want them to lower petrol prices,
      as price is currently the only mechanism we have to ensure that the
      resource is conserved!
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