Page 1231 - Week 04 - Thursday, 5 May 2022

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One of the reasons I am so enthusiastic about EVs is because I ran a project before this job called the Carbon Diet. On that project I tracked my footprint and that of the average Australian. And then I set out to cut it by 75 per cent, one week at a time. I am a bit of an old-school greenie and I really thought most of that project would be about doing less, buying less and wasting less—doing less of everything, and simplifying it. That was really helpful and that worked in a lot of areas but, interestingly, in a few areas of life, quick switches are actually more effective and easier to make.

We have seen this in the ACT with swapping to 100 per cent renewable electricity. I think most people did not notice that it happened. It was just something that occurred. You still turned the lights on—everything worked just fine—and suddenly we had zero tailpipe emissions for all of that electricity. It was fantastic. We can get a similar impact from electric vehicles. We can still drive cars if we are driving a different type of car, and that is a much easier behaviour transition to make for a lot of people because it is not telling them to fundamentally change the way they do things; it is just asking them to use a slightly different product that, by the way, looks exactly the same as the product they are already using.

I was really excited when I looked at how much we can save when we swap over our transport. The average Canberran generates two tonnes a year of carbon emissions from their transport. That is a huge amount. That is why, in Canberra, 60 per cent of our tracked emissions are coming from the transport sector. And most of that is car use. So we can make a big difference very fast. We still need public transport, and we still need active transport—EVs are going to give us the same problems with congestion that any other car does—but we understand that we will always have some vehicles in this city. We just need to make sure that those vehicles are all zero-emissions vehicles as soon as we can get there.

The last two IPCC reports released earlier this year have really highlighted how important it is to make these transitions as fast as possible and to make sure that we understand all of our decisions about planning, building up our economy and assisting people really matter. They highlighted, not only that we are running out of time, but that these simple changes are so effective. The technology is here, and we need to use it.

There is a lot of material out there. I recently read The Big Switch. It gives the same message. It is great to see these simple, practical solutions rolling out and to see how effectively they work, and it is really good to see that at the same time they are supporting people’s lifestyles and helping them save money.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Canberra Hospital—expansion

Ministerial statement

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for

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