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UPDATE: Malcolm Roberts, One Nation replies the two-stroke mower *change* is about real pollution, not CO2

Thanks to Malcolm Roberts for contacting me tonight with more information. CLARIFICATION: It’s not a complete ban on two-strokes, but a change to increase standards on motors. (It appears it will reduce real pollution, and the legislation also claims it will reduce CO2, though no CO2 limits are mandated as far as I can tell. It will stop the sales of most conventional two-stroke outboards and mowers, but not “direct injection” outboards. Gory details below)*

From Malcolm Roberts:

 Re: Genius Plan to ban two-stroke motors

Please note that Soichiro Honda himself banned his company from making 2-stroke outboard motors in the 1970’s after he visited Lake Tahoe and was shocked to see oil film on its waters. That pollution was produced by 2-stroke outboard motors.

He had the courage to do the right thing so despite the inherently higher weight and lower power of 4-stroke motors at the time. He put the real environment ahead of profits and as a result the new path led Honda to designing and building superior motors.

Sadly, Cory’s mischievous claims as reported on your blog misrepresent the situation.

I am pleased to discuss this with you or anyone copied hereto.

Before voting we checked on the bill and our staff advised clearly that the bill did not cover the so-called ‘greenhouse gas’ CO2. The bill covered real pollution.

I made a speech on this bill and it is available through the parliamentary website.


                      — Malcolm Roberts, Senator for Queensland.

All his speeches are available here.

Roberts has been doing an excellent job of holding the CSIRO to account, and I look forward to sharing more details on that as it unfolds.

As for two-stroke motors, I’m all for cutting real pollutants and am not going to pick sides between the two giants of Bernardi and Roberts who are both doing great work.

No doubt this has been pushed by the Eco-worriers for CO2 reduction purposes, but there are also real pollutants involved.  The relevant question is always “how much” and is there a better way to reduce them than banning them? Is it worth the loss of choice and performance? I don’t know those answers. Where was that national discussion?

Crickets from the ABC?

On an issue that’s obviously so close to many Australian men’s hearts I can’t find a single story from our billion dollar National Broadcaster. The ABC has time to discuss how Kath and Kim show exactly how Australia can accept same-sex marriage, but the iconic mowers and tinnies are about to change and who knew?

Obviously it’s only an issue for suburban deplorables who mow their own lawns.

Further to Malcolm’s email the legislation DOES NOT ban 2 stroke engines, it increases the standards on 2 stroke engines to decrease particulate pollution.

From 2019 all products must comply to the new standards. Many of the products on the market already comply with these standards. There will be no wiper sniper amnesty or chainsaw buy back Scheme. This was a genuine attempt by Malcolm to do something positive for the environment and human health to show we (climate sceptics) are not anti-environment.

Summary of legislation

Malcolm’s speech


Paul Evans
Senator Malcolm Roberts

New Media Advisor


Gory details

UPDATE #3:  The Legislation mentions both real pollutants and mentions CO2 and the UNFCCC.

To give Cory his due, the legislation is designed to reduce carbon emissions (as well as noxious pollutants). Though I don’t know whether this is an accidental byproduct. Does it add unnecessary costs, or is just empty bragging.

“…contribute to meeting Australia’s emission reductions obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Footnote 9: For instance, the standards are estimated to result in a reduction in combusted fuel in Australia of over 40 megalitres per year, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gases by around 95 000 CO2e tonnes per year over the period 2016 to 2035.


UPDATE #4  But it does look like “conventional two stroke lawn mowers and generators” will be rare

From AMEC (Marine Council) *Dec 2015* – there will be not many two stroke mowers left

“Asked if that meant no more two stroke lawn mowers or outboards after July Gary was quick to point out “let’s be clear, these laws are not an attack on any one technology: we will still have quality hand held products like STIHL and Husqvarna chainsaws, and of course Direct Injection two stroke outboards like E-TEC, but yes, four strokes will be the more common engine type in future especially for lawn mowers and generators.”

AMEC May 2016:

The proposed standards are performance rather than technology-based. In general, four-stroke and direct-injection two-stroke engines will meet the standards, as will a range of low-emitting two-stroke handheld equipment (e.g. some chainsaws and brush cutters). Conventional two-stroke outboards and non-handheld equipment such as mowers would not meet the new standards.

More than you ever wanted to know about mowers. Me too :- (

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