The Motor Trade Association is calling on the South Australian Government to work with its federal counterparts to develop a national transition plan to zero and low-emission vehicles.

Following the ACT’s decision to ban the sale of new petrol cars by 2035, MTA chief executive officer Paul Unerkov said if unilaterally replicated in SA existing cars could become effectively worthless and it would create unnecessary market uncertainty.

“States, territories and the Federal Government should be working together to develop a nationally consistent transition plan,” Mr Unerkov said.

“South Australians would be rightfully concerned that under the ACT policy the value of their existing car would plummet to next to nothing.

“If South Australia lags behind other jurisdictions, the MTA is equally worried that we will become a dumping ground for used cars.”

Mr Unerkov said a nationally consistent plan was also required to ensure the transition would not adversely affect the local automotive retail, service, and repair industry, worth more than $2 billion to the South Australian economy.

“As our uptake of electric vehicles increases, we need to harness its economic benefits in an industry dominated by traditional skilled labour,” Mr Unerkov said.

“All levels of government must consult with the automotive sector and industry stakeholders to develop appropriate policy measures.”

The 2021 Directions in Australia’s Automotive Industry Report concluded: “What would be detrimental to industry are unexpected lurches in government policy that create uncertainty for automotive businesses and undermine industry’s faith in the transition process.”

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