Page 2427 - Week 07 - Thursday, 4 August 2022
It will be a gradual transition, though. But I do want to assure the Assembly that both myself and Minister Rattenbury are working very hard with the manufacturers—in fact, I met with Hyundai at lunchtime today—to get more and cheaper EVs into the Canberra market as soon as possible. This, I think, will be an important way to ensure that, in time, in a future Assembly, when I am in retirement, members will not have to debate fuel prices anymore because we will have moved beyond internal combustion engines.
Amongst the many measures in our zero emissions vehicle action plan is to provide access to interest-free loans—
Mr Parton: When is the retirement date?
MR BARR: to support the purchase of electric vehicles and EV charging infrastructure. We are certainly looking for a phase-out. I imagine it will take about 20 to 25 years, Mr Parton, before most—
Mr Parton: No, I was talking about your retirement. I thought you were making an announcement today.
MR BARR: My retirement. Right. Okay. No, no, no. I made an announcement yesterday. You might have seen it. Anyway, these measures on zero emissions vehicles are for the medium term. We acknowledge that. But, as zero emissions vehicles become a more affordable option in the years to come, I think we will see a significant lessening in demand for petrol and diesel vehicles and that will of course lead to more affordability for motorists.
But I do acknowledge, Mr Cain, that that time is not now, so what I have done is write to the New South Wales Premier, seeking a waiver of some of the licence and other fees that come with the New South Wales FuelCheck app, in order to make it cost-effective. There are obviously thousands of service stations under the New South Wales scheme. Adding an extra 50 or 60 in the ACT should not be too onerous.
I did point out to the New South Wales Premier that of course there are tens of thousands of motorists from New South Wales who come into the ACT every day, so they would be his own residents who would benefit from extending the application of that app into the territory. So I hope we will have a positive response from the Premier on that point. He is a good cross-border collaborator, Premier Perrottet. We work well together, so I look forward to a positive response on that matter.
In the meantime, of course, as I have indicated, there is information available. It should come as no surprise to anyone, given the business models and locations, where the cheapest petrol is in Canberra. Adding another app may make a marginal difference, but I do not want to oversell the benefit. Let’s be frank about this: another app is not going to suddenly mean that petrol prices in Canberra become the cheapest in Australia. That is not going to happen. So let’s not oversell it. But, equally, another app is not going to hurt, so that is why I have pursued the matter with the New South Wales Premier. I commend my amendment to the Assembly.