Health experts have renewed calls to fast-track the introduction of tighter vehicle emission standards in Australia as the manufacturing sector declines.
With European countries set to enforce stricter emission standards from September, Australia lags behind pollution benchmarks for new cars. Professor Ben Mullins, a health, safety and environment expert at Curtin University, said: ''I think local manufacturers may have been a factor in the past - but also potentially local testing authorities because of the resources that would be required with stricter standards.
''There's good reason to look at bringing those current stages forward a bit with the manufacturing closures.''
In the past, emission standards in Australia were shaped with consideration to local car makers.
But with Ford, Holden and Toyota due to stop making cars, there are calls for Australia to match foreign standards.
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development confirmed no revisions to emission standards have been made since local car makers announced their closures.
Health experts at a Senate hearing last year said Australia was slow to adopt strict emission laws and must address the problem of diesel particulates.
With David McCowen