NSW Treasurer Matt Kean says the federal government can “go a lot further” with its electric vehicle initiatives, noting a range of taxes and charges could be waived to make them more accessible for families and businesses.
“We want to see things like the federal government investing more heavily in electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” Mr Kean told ABC’s 7.30 program last night.
“I mean, the funding that they’ve put on the table doesn’t even match the funding that we’ve put here just for the state of NSW.”
The NSW government will spend $105 million to encourage uptake among fleet operators, in addition to the $490 million electric vehicle package announced at the 2021 state budget.
But Mr Kean said the “biggest thing” the federal government could do would be to deal with fuel standards, describing them as worse than in China and India.
“What that means is that Australia is becoming the dumping ground for the vehicles the rest of the world doesn’t want,” he said.
“That’s not only bad for the environment, but it means consumers are getting less choice and they’re paying more at the bowser. That’s not acceptable.”
The NSW Treasurer said he hadn’t spoken to the federal government before it released its plan, but that he looks forward to working with Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor on the rollout of more electric charging stations.
Mr Kean was asked by broadcaster Laura Tingle whether the Morrison government had been “hoisted on their own petard” following their approach to electric vehicles at the 2019 election, to now “turn around and embrace them more fully than [had previously]“.
“I can’t comment about their political strategy but what I do know is this new technology is coming whether people like it or not and we need to be ready for the future,” Mr Kean replied.
“You can’t sit by and hope for the best, you’ve got to put in place the policies and show the leadership required to roll that technology out at scale.
“That’s what we’re doing in NSW, that’s what we’re working with other states and territories on achieving and we welcome the opportunity to work with the Commonwealth to ensure that Australians get the best deal and the best technology available.”