Push for old polluting trucks to be banned from the streets of Sydney and Melbourne

The Grattan report shows that 14 percent of the country’s truck fleet was built before 1996 and emits 60 times more particulate matter than a new heavy vehicle and eight times more toxic nitrogen oxides. It recommends offering financial support to older truck owners to switch to cleaner trucks.

NSW Greens traffic spokeswoman Abigail Boyd said the large number of pre-2003 diesel trucks on the roads meant there might be little choice but to ban them.

“But any ban must be accompanied by a support package for individual truck owners who would otherwise be in dire straits,” she said. “It’s not about hurting the truck industry, it’s about providing guidance for future investment decisions.”

In a sign of the challenge, Secretary of Transportation David Elliott said at a budget hearing on Friday that there was “no way in the world” the government would meet the ambitious goal set by his predecessor Andrew Constance to electrify the state’s fleet of 8,000 buses by 2030.

The country currently has around 100 electric buses, with another 200 to follow next year.

NSW Labor street spokesman John Graham said if his party wins government he wants to encourage new jobs in companies converting big trucks to electric vehicles.

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“We know that old diesel trucks have a huge impact on our state’s air quality. This is a problem that we cannot avoid,” he said.

He did not comment on whether pre-2003 trucks should be banned from Sydney.

The Grattan report also warns that Australia’s pollution standards for trucks are a decade behind major global markets and that the country must catch up with the international pollution standard by 2024.

According to the so-called “Euro” standards, a switch from Euro V to Euro VI requires trucks to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent and halve particulate matter. Canada and the USA tightened their emission standards to Euro VI in 2010, Japan in 2011 and Great Britain and Europe in 2014.

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However, Australia is one of only six G20 countries that has not adopted or committed to the Euro VI pollution standards. The federal government is considering introducing Euro VI standards from 2027.

The Australian Trucking Association, an industry body, said it believes the federal government should mandate Euro VI standards for new truck models from early 2024, and for new trucks in general the following year.

NSW Regional Roads Minister Sam Farraway said emissions standards would be set at the federal level and would require a national approach to ensure vehicles registered in Australia meet the legal requirements.

A Victorian Government spokesman said it had reduced 28,000 truck journeys off the state’s roads each year as part of an incentive program to shift more freight to rail and reduce road damage, road accidents and emissions from heavy vehicles.

The Grattan Institute also called on the federal government to set binding sales targets for zero-emission trucks, starting at 2 percent in 2024 and gradually increasing to cover most new sales through 2040. It argued that this would help Australia meet its net-zero emissions target by 2050.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King was asked to comment.

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/it-s-not-radical-push-to-ban-old-polluting-trucks-from-capital-cities-20220825-p5bcnj.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national Push for old polluting trucks to be banned from the streets of Sydney and Melbourne

Joel McCord

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