David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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ACHIEVEMENT: Melbourne City Council's car fleet operates at an average fuel consumption level of 8 litres/ 100 Km or less.

TARGET DATE: June 2005 PROGRESS: Significant.

Council policy is now that its operational fleet operate at 8 litres per 100 Km or less by June 2005 or earlier.

DESCRIPTION: To boost the efficiency of its council fleet to 8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres travelled, Council has taken the following measures:

  • Downsized some vehicles to smaller engine size.
  • Introduced alternatives fuels such as LPG and CNG.
  • Increase the use of hybrid electric and other fuel efficient vehicles.
  • Trained drivers in fuel saving driving techniques.
  • Reformed the employee car packaging program to decrease the cost to employees with efficient cars and increasing the cost to employees choosing inefficient cars as Council's expense.
  • Promoted bikes and public transport as alternatives to getting around on council business.

I undertook research which I provided to the September 2003 Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee. The issues and responses I researched included: Downsizing vehicles; optimising vehicle use; maximising efficiency; using electric and hybrid vehicles; eliminating fleet vehicles; using alternative fuels; facilitating public transport, walking and telecommuting and incorporating efficiency into bid specifications.


At the October 2001 Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee I was successful in passing a motion requiring the purchase of two Hybrid cars. A press release following their purchase stated:


Chair and Deputy Chair of the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee, Crs Kate Redwood and David Risstrom, will today test drive two new hybrid fuel cars which have been purchased for the City of Melbourne car pool. The Prius Hybrid cars will be officially handed over to the councillors by senior executives from Toyota outside the front of the Melbourne Town Hall in Swanston Street. "As a Council we are committed to creating an environmentally responsible city," said Cr Redwood. "This means not only addressing issues like greenhouse gas emissions, sustainable development and biodiversity, but also ensuring efficient use of resources. "As a council body, we see it as our role to set good examples in these areas."

In presenting the motion to buy the cars to the committee December 2001, Cr Risstrom said the new cars could represent a fuel saving of around 60%. "As the vehicle runs on ordinary unleaded petrol, this should represent significant fuel cost savings and greenhouse gas reductions over the existing fleet."

The Prius is a conventional body, full-featured medium sized passenger car, which is driven by a combination of petrol motor and electric motor. The electric motor powers the car at take-off and low speed and operates as a generator for excess energy when the car is braking, allowing the vehicle to achieve very low fuel consumption.


At the 9 July 2003 Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee I was successful in passing a motion with the following elements (I will provide exact wording when confirmed):

Council investigates establishing a corporate fleet having an average fuel consumption of 8 litres / 100 km

Driver training on fuel efficiency driving techniques be provided.

The employee car packages be modified to make people with more fuel efficient cars pay more and less fuel efficient cars pay less.


A management report was prepared in response to the above request, which was ultimately presented to the September 2003 Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee.

That the Environment, Community and Cultural Development Committee:
· Note this report;
· Set a target that Council's operational fleet operate at 8 litres per 100 Km, or less, by June 2005 or earlier:
· Investigate the use of alternative fuels, including ethanol, hydrogen and compressed natural gas, for use by the operational fleet;
· Investigate the use of electric vehicles and the new and emerging technology such as hybrids and fuel cells especially Australian expertise:
· Endorse the review and amendment of the Corporate Fleet Policy to better reflect the TBL assessment including;
· consideration into buying 4 cylinder non-Australian made vehicles to enhance Council's corporate environmental objectives; and
· ensuring informed decision making concerning increasing Council's subsidy for salary sacrificed vehicles aimed at fuel savings and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions; and
· endorse the promotions of the aims of a driving self awareness campaign to all staff; and
· note that this decision is being made by the Committee under delegation from the Council and is subject to the referral notice process.

Moved: Cr. Risstrom. Seconded: Cr. Kitching.

FURTHER INFORMATION: The Environment Liaison Office, representing the Australian Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Environment Victoria, Victorian National Parks Association and Wilderness Society, policy statement of 25 September 2002 supports a mandatory new vehicle fuel consumption target of 4-5 litres/ 100 km for the average consumption of new vehicles (including cars and 4WDs) sold in Australia by 2010.

16 November 2003: A 287 Kb pdf downloadable copy of the 2002-03 Fuel Consumption Guide published by the Australian Greenhouse Office is available by clicking on the title. It is essential reading for car buyers who want to make good decision about fuel consumption.


6 August 2004: The Australian Government has released a Green Vehicle Guide, available online at http://www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au. The following description is taken from that website:

The Green Vehicle Guide provides ratings on the environmental performance of new vehicles sold in Australia. You can use this site to see how vehicles compare on greenhouse and air pollution emissions. When buying a new car, use the site to identify the vehicle with the highest ratings which meets your needs.

The Guide is regularly updated to include to ensure a comprehensive listing of new passenger cars, 4WDs and light commercial vehicles sold in Australia.

The ratings are based upon government recognised test standards for measuring and regulating motor vehicle exhaust emissions. Greenhouse ratings are based on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Air Pollution ratings are based primarily on the emission standard to which the vehicle has been tested and certified for supply to the Australian market.

Fuel consumption information for 1986 - 2003 vehicles is available through the Fuel Consumption Guide database.


Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

This site is written, authorised and maintained by David Risstrom , 377 Little Bourke St. Melbourne, Australiaand had more than 1,003,082 visitors and 3,052,017 hits when updated on Sun 23 April 2017.