Bargain-loving Australians should be offered tax breaks and parking discounts for clean cars to cut potentially deadly air pollution in cities, an academic says.
November 18, 2013
Queensland University of Technology Professor Adrian Barnett believes
politicians should take a lead in countering Australia's "complacent"
attitude to the problem.
Better financial incentives to get people
to buy cleaner electric and hybrid cars should be considered alongside
new laws to keep trucks out of city centres in rush hour, he says.
"A lot of the technology is there. Politicians could do a lot of new things to encourage it," he told AAP.
could make tax a lot smaller for electric vehicles. If they did that,
there would be a massive increase. Aussies love a bargain."
comments come after the World Health Organisation (WHO) reclassified air
pollution as a carcinogen in October, after new research showed its
links to lung and bladder cancer.
Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia, he said the move should be a wake-up call for politicians.
Queensland government has unveiled plans for a $5 billion Brisbane
underground system for buses and trains linking Dutton Park and Bowen
Hills by a 5.4-kilometre tunnel by 2021.
The project aims to remove 200 buses from inner-city streets.
Burnett, from QUT's School of Public Health and Social Work, said the
tunnel might reduce pollution but risked just shifting fumes to areas
around the entrances and exits or any vents.
Boosting sales of
electric and hybrid cars would be the best way to combat the pollution,
with cheaper parking in government-owned car parks a good idea alongside
"We need action on specific dirty sites, but we also
need action on common sources such as vehicles, which create most of the
pollution in our cities."
Avoiding rush-hour journeys is the
single biggest move drivers can make to improve air quality in the worst
areas - usually city centres.