The ALP state candidate for Ballina, Asren Pugh, says new shopping centre car parks in Ballina and Byron shires would be required to include electric vehicle (EV) charging stations if Labor is elected in March.
Mr Pugh was speaking in support of the party’s EV policy, announced on Monday (January 28), which would require 25 per cent of state fleet vehicles to be electric by 2025.
Labor would also allocate $10 million to the rollout of additional fast charging stations in strategic locations across NSW.
And it would change planning laws to require electric charging outlets in new strata buildings and other developments such as shopping centres and parking stations.
‘There are a number of new shopping centres currently being planned or built across the Ballina and Byron shires [that] should have provision for charging electric vehicles,’ Mr Pugh said.
But the Nature Conservation Council says that both Labor’s policy and the Coalition’s (which would require just 10 per cent of government fleets to be EV or hybrid by 2020) ‘lack vision’.
NCC’s senior climate and energy campaigner, Dr Brad Smith, said both parties’ commitments ‘pale in comparison to the ACT, which will ensure 100 per cent of new vehicles in its fleet are electric by 2021’.
‘Where is the vision from the main parties in NSW? This state should be leading the nation, but these plans will leave us in the back of the pack.
‘Transport accounts for almost 20 per cent of Australia’s climate pollution, so we need to transition from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles power fed by clean energy as quickly as possible.
‘Electric vehicle sales are starting to take off in Australia, having increased 67 per cent in one year from 2016 to 2017 but a lack of charging stations and other infrastructure is holding the industry back,’ Dr Smith said.
But Mr Pugh is calling on locals to come on board Labor’s EV plan.
‘Climate change means we need to take action to electrify the transport sector. We can run our cars on renewable electricity instead of burning oil. This policy would greatly reduce our emissions and support the industry to become more cost effective for the average family.
‘I’m interested in the community’s thoughts, where would you put charging stations on the North Coast?
‘With the right infrastructure and support in place even regional areas like ours could be a mecca for electric vehicles,’ he said.