Page 68 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 8 February 2022

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even with an interest-free loan. An electric bike would be available to nearly everyone regardless of their home ownership status, dwelling type or income. Have you decided that e-bikes will be included in the scheme in future? If not, when will you decide?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Clay for the question. I am aware of her ongoing interest in e-bikes. It has been pleasing to see that as production of e-bikes is increasing they are falling in price. One of the factors associated with the scheme is that the minimum loan amount is $2,000. There are literally dozens of e-bikes, from a variety of different manufacturers, that fall well below $2,000 and so would not be eligible for the scheme regardless. The cap on access to capital is not a major barrier to purchasing an e-bike. You can buy an e-bike for less than $1,000 and you can certainly buy a wide range of e-bikes for between $1,000 and $2,000, all of which fall below the minimum loan amount of the scheme.

From what I can ascertain, the more expensive e-bikes that are in the $4,000 to $5,000 range would perhaps be considered more of a luxury product, given that there are more affordable e-bikes available. We will continue to evaluate the possibility of new products being added to the scheme. There are a range of considerations that the government puts in place in relation to whether new products can be added. There are a wide-ranging set of criteria that I will not have time to outline in the next 20 seconds that I have made available to Ms Clay, I understand, numerous times before, because this is not the first time that this question has been asked.

MS CLAY: Minister, would you consider dropping the minimum floor so that access to e-bikes would be available for someone who cannot perhaps afford a $1,000 or $2,000 outlay without a loan?

MR BARR: No. The reason for the minimum amount in the loans scheme really goes to administration costs. There is also a credit assessment that needs to be applied. Given the nature of the scheme and the fact we are looking to provide support for more capital intensive items that have ten-year paybacks—a loans scheme that goes over many years—reducing the loan amount below $2,000 is not something that we will consider.

MR DAVIS: Would you include any other forms of electric transport in the scheme, such as electric scooters or e-cargo bikes?

MR BARR: This question has been raised as well. It has been interesting to see the particular focus on e-bikes, as opposed to some of the other types of personal transport e-boosted that Mr Davis has talked about. I understand that in the market now those products are comparable to or even cheaper than e-bikes. The purpose of the scheme is not to provide small-scale loans. That is why the minimum loan amount is $2,000 and the maximum amount stretches up to $15,000. It is designed for more capital intensive products and services that deliver significant emissions reductions, deliver significant cost savings. That is why it is focused on the areas that it is.

Access to capital for amounts below $2,000 tends not to be an area that is covered by these sorts of schemes. There would be other forms of microcredit that would be available. An individual who cannot raise $2,000 may have difficulty paying a loan

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