Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3318 ..
information I learned that there were 37 operational charging stations, yet only 13 are publicly accessible.
Without charging infrastructure, the potential for rapid take-up of private electric vehicles is uncertain. I am pleased the minister has acknowledged this is an issue by committing $2.7 million to install 50 public charging stations. What Canberrans want to know is where will those 50 charging stations be and how soon will they be built.
While I welcome the steady increase in zero emissions vehicle registration in the ACT, the reality is that these are still not affordable options for the vast majority of Canberrans. I recall reading an article earlier this year that the top suburbs to take up EV registration were Garran, Campbell and Phillip, just to name a few.
The Conservation Council’s statement to the 2021-22 budget made the important point that the Vulnerable Household Energy Support Scheme aimed at supporting low income households to improve housing quality has received only 10 per cent of the $50 million outlined in the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement, which is not good enough. As rightly focus on achieving our legislated reduction targets, we must be mindful that low income and vulnerable Canberra households are not disadvantaged and are, indeed, supported to make changes that improve their quality of life.
In conclusion, the Canberra Liberals urge the government to release cost-benefit reports so that the community can clearly understand how the government is spending their money and what programs are driving down emissions most effectively.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (11.12): I would like to thank Minister Rattenbury, who has been a great advocate for electric vehicles in his time in the Assembly. It has been really satisfying to watch that EV policy come so far, so fast. Earlier this year the federal government was still claiming EVs would wreck the weekend, and I am pleased to see they have changed their tune since COP26, although their actual policy is pretty light on.
In the ACT we have led the world on some aspects of climate policy but we lagged behind on EVs. The ACT Greens were the only major party to take an EV policy to the election. Now it is core ACT government business. It is no wonder. Transport emissions make up around 60 per cent of our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions and we are in a climate crisis. We need to cut those emissions as quickly as possible. This is why every country that takes climate change seriously has big plans for EVs.
I am not really a car person. I love to ride. I did not own a car for the last 15 years. My partner had a Nissan Tiida and our household ran with one car and two bikes. It suited us really well. But in a car-loving city like Canberra, I understand that EVs are key. I worked this out when I ran a climate change project. I cut my footprint—and that of the average Australian—by 75 per cent, running different one-week experiments to see what worked. The transport section was really, really challenging. Catching the bus, walking and riding everywhere that I could go, car-pooling and trip-chaining—all of these worked. They all cut a tonne or more of emissions per year, and it was really good. But I had to think and plan ahead. I had to adapt my life around it. But