An interesting question time today in parliament discussing the implication of farebox recovery ratios, the emissions trading scheme and so forth.
The transcript is available to read here. Did Joyce really say that forcing people from public transport into their cars will decrease transport emissions?
Gareth Hughes: If fewer people take trains and buses and instead drive their cars, will this increase or decrease our greenhouse gas emissions from transport?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Obviously it would decrease them, but I think the member is arguing against the emissions trading scheme with that question. Presumably as a member of the Green Party he seeks to see the emissions trading scheme introduced to raise the cost of fuel to encourage people to use more public transport. To suggest that that will somehow reverse the situation is, I think, unfortunate logic.
Crikey I didn’t mishear it. I think Gareth Hughes wondered if it was a clip of the tongue from Joyce, but seemingly not:
Gareth Hughes: Did I hear the Minister correctly just then? Does he believe that if fewer people take trains and buses and instead drive their cars, it will decrease our greenhouse gas emissions from transport?
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: It all depends on the fuel efficiency of their cars, I would have thought. The emissions trading scheme is designed to encourage fuel efficiency. We have continuing improvement in fuel efficiency in this country. If the member believes that he will solve the world’s problems by shifting people away from their private forms of transport permanently on to public forms of transport, I say that I genuinely think he would be better to focus on improving fuel technologies and improving the fuel efficiency of private vehicles, as this Government is doing.
Oh goodness not the good old “electric cars will save us” argument.