Government grants GM Holden short-term deferral of new emissions requirements for certain locally made models

Media Release

PF025/2015

13 November 2015

“The Government has agreed to a request from GM Holden that it be granted a short-term deferral of up to three months in meeting new higher vehicle emissions standards for certain locally made models,” Paul Fletcher, Major Projects Minister, said today.

New vehicle emissions standards based on the Euro 5 level will become mandatory in Australia for most vehicles from 1 November 2016.

“However I have agreed that GM Holden will be granted an exemption for certain locally-built model,” Mr Fletcher said.

“GM Holden has advised the Government that this deferral would maximise the potential of locally-built models, which in turn will help to preserve job retention at GM Holden at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia and for its local suppliers, and strengthen the commitment to building cars until the end of 2017.

“In making this decision I have weighed up the benefits highlighted by GM Holden, of allowing extended production and in turn employment, against the likely impact on vehicle emissions.

“The impact will be very small, as the vehicles affected by this deferral represent less than one per cent of the total number of new vehicles sold in Australia every year.

“In addition, GM Holden has advised me that the actual emissions levels from the affected vehicles do in fact meet the Euro 5 emissions standards. However the new regulatory requirement also requires changes to vehicles' on board diagnostic systems, which measure emissions, and it is a deferral of this requirement (and the associated cost of complying with it) which underpins GM Holden's request.

“Holden has also advised me that its new Commodore model, which will follow the model that will have the benefit of this deferral, will comply with Australia's new emissions standards based on Euro 5.

“In reaching this decision I have also taken account of the comprehensive new process I recently announced, under which I will join with the Environment Minister Greg Hunt and the Resources and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg in a Ministerial Forum to examine vehicle emissions standards in Australia and vehicle testing through a whole of government approach.

“The Australian Government is committed to reducing harmful emissions on Australia's roads through improved standards. The Ministerial Forum will develop a package of measures to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and noxious emissions on Australia's roads, including considering the introduction of Euro 6, as well as improving the energy efficiency of Australia's vehicle fleet to save consumers money at the bowser,” Mr Fletcher said.