Australian Oil Debate Revving Up  

Posted by Big Gav

Even Rupert Murdoch's "Australian" has started talking abut Peak Oil.

Apart from academic and scientific circles, 'peak oil' enjoys little currency locally and it runs wide of any government radar. Only the West Australian Government and the state's Sustainable Transport Coalition (STC) have acknowledged it. It's also rated a mere mention in the South Australian government Hansard.

The STC's Perth-based Bruce Robinson claims there's an 'intelligence failure of information' on the part of governments to clearly define any debate. The public is bombarded with incongruous information from governments and the oil industry, he says.

Robinson also attacks the 'perverse subsidies' that see a fuel-guzzling Toyota LandCruiser four-wheel drive enjoy an import tariff of just 5 per cent when a fuel-efficient Toyota Prius hybrid/electric hatch is 10 per cent.

The local divisions of Ford, Holden, Toyota and Mitsubishi all have access to well-funded global research into hybrids and hydrogen through their global parents. Ford and Holden are also known to be looking at the latest-generation diesels that could hit our roads sooner than alternative energy cars.

Fancy a Holden Commodore or Ford Falcon travelling more than 1000km on one tank of diesel? Well, the technology exists - it's just a matter of the market, diesel quality and infrastructure making it happen, according to Ford vice-president of product development Trevor Worthington.

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