A proposal to develop a “world-class” LPG conversion facility for new cars, creating up to 500 jobs, has won the backing of the Victorian Government this week.
The plan, proposed by Gas Energy Australia and the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce and first revealed in December last year, then found the support of Victorian Premier Denis Napthine.
Now, the state government has confirmed it will back a steering committee to further investigate the plan to launch a centre for the research, development and harmonisation of LPG vehicle manufacturing standards.
“Given that Ford, Holden and Toyota will cease car manufacturing in Australia at the end of 2017, we must seize all employment, production and regeneration opportunities in the automotive industry,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said today.
The proposal initially included facilities in Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide, although the South Australian Government has yet to announce further plans.
It is hoped that the new program will boost the ‘image’ of LPG by establishing design and manufacturing quality standards, along the lines of programs already in place in Europe and the US.
With a capacity for around 45,000 vehicles each year, the program could also help to reduce Australia’s dependence on overseas oil.
The program would focus on new vehicles only - particularly among fleet buyers - allowing existing businesses to continue with conversions of used and older cars.
“We hope support for this project in Victoria will lead to automotive industry partners coming on board and also stimulate interest from the Federal Government,” Gas Energy Australia boss Mike Carmody said.