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THE federal government has upgraded the safety of its employees with more stringent safety rules applying to the nation’s fleet through its Commonwealth Fleet Vehicle Selection Policy.

Coinciding with National Road Safety Week, the Australian government has now established procurement criteria for Commonwealth Government fleet vehicles, requiring vehicles to hold a five-star ANCAP safety rating and a date stamp within three years.

This replaces the previous policy requiring five-star vehicles with a date stamp of no older than six years.

ANCAP CEO Carla Hoorweg said “this is a notable and extremely positive move.”

Carla Hoorweg

“The test and rating criteria applied by ANCAP to new vehicles sold in Australia increases in breadth and stringency every three years. 

“We do this to encourage vehicle safety improvements so that consumers have access to the safest cars with the latest safety features and technologies.

“The significance of this update to the commonwealth’s fleet purchasing policy is that it provides a clear incentive for vehicle manufacturers to strive for five stars with new model designs, and with model facelifts.”

Ms Hoorweg said Australia was a relatively small market on the global stage yet it “punched well above its weight in terms of pushing to receive the safest vehicles.”

“While it can be frustrating for some vehicle brands to push for the highest level of safety in vehicles supplied to Australia, policies such as this can see them rewarded for their decisions,” she said.

In addition to the Australian government’s policy, each of the state and territory governments, as well as a broad range of large and small businesses, have five-star fleet vehicle purchasing policies in place.

“This best-practice update to the commonwealth’s fleet purchasing policy shows clear leadership through action and we encourage other fleets and private consumers to consider adopting the same approach when it comes to shortlisting new vehicles for purchase,” Ms Hoorweg said.

The Australian Government fleet consists of more than 10,000 passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. 

Nationally, government buyers across jurisdictions inject a total of 34,500 new vehicles into the Australian car parc every year.

There are 58 new vehicle models currently on sale that hold a five-star ANCAP safety rating within three years – either a 2024, 2023 or 2022 date stamp. 

Of those, 40 are Low Emission Vehicles (LEVs) which are also prioritised under the Australian Government fleet policy.

By Neil Dowling

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