Vehicles & The Environment

The Department is responsible for managing policy and standards development on vehicle emissions, noise and energy issues. It has specific responsibility for the Australian Design Rules governing vehicle emissions, noise and fuel consumption labelling. It is responsible for input on fuel quality issues. The Team manages all aspects of the Green Vehicle Guide. It is also responsible for implementing the environmental aspects of the Government's fuel excise credit arrangements for commercial transport operators.

The Department's main tool to address vehicle emissions and noise has been the setting of new vehicle standards via the Australian Design Rules (ADR's). The ADR's are made under Section 7 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989. The first emissions related ADR's were introduced in the early 1970's and have been progressively tightened since then, with the latest standards being endorsed by Ministers in April 2005. More recently, the Department has also developed measures to raise awareness of the impact of vehicles upon the environment through the launch of the Green Vehicle Guide website and the requirement for a Fuel Consumption Label on all new light vehicles.