I’ve always been an enthusiastic supporter of electric vehicles and the immense and vital potential they have to support our emissions reduction targets. Nineteen per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the transport sector. The uptake of EVs will be essential in reducing Australia’s emissions to net zero by 2050, which must remain our goal. Electric vehicles provide overwhelming benefits for individuals, the community and our environment. EVs produce no tailpipe emissions and have lower running costs than petrol and diesel vehicles, meaning more money in the pockets of their owners. They provide health benefits through lower air pollution, resulting in cleaner air quality.
Yet, despite these clear benefits, Australia is at risk of falling behind the global EV adoption rate. Electric vehicle sales in Australia account for just three-quarters of a per cent of the overall market, compared to 10 per cent in both the UK and the European Union. It is for precisely this reason that I commend and congratulate the Berejiklian government’s Electric Vehicle Strategy, which was announced yesterday. It is the most substantial launch by any state government in Australia. The strategy includes several measures that I have argued for in this parliament. These include stamp duty waivers for EVs and incentives to support commercial fleet purchases. I am particularly pleased that within this strategy there is a strong focus on building EV charging station infrastructure, which remains critical to the adoption of EVs statewide and nationwide. The strategy is a positive move in the right direction, which will help ensure that we can look forward to a net zero emission transport sector.