Ballina Council is putting its money where its mouth is and purchasing an electric car for staff as well looking at ways to take action locally on climate change.
At yesterday’s council meeting the purchase was approved along with the backing for a charging station to be installed at the main administration office.
‘This is something that I have been promoting for a number of years so it’s great to finally see that Ballina is joining a growing list of councils that use electric vehicles as part of their fleet,’ said Councillor Jeff Johnson.
‘When you consider that electric vehicles can be charged up from installed solar panels, the actual costs over the life of the vehicle are already less than their petrol equivalent.’
Some Ballina Council staff are encouraged to include a car as part of their renumeration package with the council and the council offers an incentive discount for those who take up the offer.
‘We have an extra discount incentive for people who take up an electric car but so far no one has,’ said Councillor Keith Williams.
‘We are trying to encourage staff to become familiar with electric cars by having one in the pool of cars that staff are using.’
The General Manager of Ballina Council was also directed to look at the viability of electric vehicles as part of future fleet and plant purchases. This information will be included in his report that will come to the June meeting.
‘If it becomes part of the ongoing policy then we won’t need to go through the steps of approving the purchase of electric vehicles as a special thing,’ said Councillor Williams.
Environment action at a local level
Councillor Ben Smith also made an impassioned speech in support of the need for local councils to take action on climate action. He moved a notice of motion (NOM) to review Ballina Council’s climate action strategy.
‘Councillor Smith highlighted that there will be no or little action at the federal level following the recent election outcome and that councils will have to step up to drive local action’, Councillor Williams told Echonetdaily.
‘I was really pleased to see that generally councillors understood they had a responsibility in terms of climate change’, said Councillor Williams.