Australia’s liquefied-petroleum-gas industry wants the new federal government to link any future funding to the automotive sector to the development and production of LPG vehicles.

Gas Energy Australia, the national body representing the LPG industry, has told Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane there are benefits from such a move.

“The provision of government assistance to the automotive-manufacturing industry is justified by the spillover benefits to other sectors of the Australian economy that flow from the leading-edge nature of many of the activities it conducts,” Gas Energy Australia CEO Mike Carmody says in a statement.

“The more such assistance is tied to the delivery of actions that boost such benefits, the stronger is the case for assisting the automotive-manufacturing industry.”

Gas Energy Australia wants a similar discipline for its industry.

Carmody says the country’s LPG industry not only is one of the most developed in the world, but its producers, equipment suppliers, vehicle converters, retailers, fuel suppliers, servicers and repairers also represent a significant part of Australia’s broader auto industry.

The industry has the supply, infrastructure, technology, vehicles and skilled workforce to be able to deliver benefits to the community, he says. These include the affordability of LPG, which typically costs 50% less than gasoline or diesel and has helped contain fuel costs for Australian families and businesses.

Carmody says the use of Australian-designed and -built LPG vehicles, which emit up to 16% less CO2 emissions than their gasoline equivalents, will contribute to reduced greenhouse-gas emissions.

“The local production and supply of LPG will help Australia maintain its fuel security in the face of a number of supply shocks and enhance national energy security,” the group says.

Gas Energy Australia considers it to be in the national and community interest that any new assistance to automakers be tied as closely as possible to actions that maintain or increase the use of LPG-powered vehicles in the country.

These actions could include continuing to offer LPG variants of vehicles manufactured in Australia, offering LPG variants or LPG conversion-compatible models built overseas, increasing investment in development and deployment of new LPG technologies and marketing the benefits of LPG vehicles to Australians.