Labor releases transport future plan

The federal opposition has unveiled its flagship transport pollution strategy, outlining a plan to collaborate with the country’s transport sector to cut emissions, increase uptake of electric vehicles and put downward pressure on petrol price.

Announcing the plan, opposition leader Bill Shorten said that the transport sector makes up for almost 20 per cent of the nation’s emissions.

“Cleaner cars and transport aren’t just good for the environment – they are cheaper to run. But Australia lags behind our competitor countries, whether it’s in electric vehicle take-up, or vehicle fuel efficiency. We have ten times lower electric vehicle take-up than the global average, and we’re at risk of being left behind,” Mr Shorten said.

Labor’s plan includes:

  • A national electric vehicle target of 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030

  • A government fleet of 50 per cent of new purchases and leases of passenger vehicles by 2025.

  • A tax deduction on electric vehicle purchases for business vehicles.

  • Regulatory reforms and a COAG agenda to include state government planning.

“These are sensible standards which will bring Australia’s cars into line with those in the US, which has a similar car fleet to ours, but won’t be as stringent as those operating in the EU,” Mr Shorten said.

The release of the plan comes days after a new report from Climate Analytics revealed Australia is set to see an 83% increase in transport related emissions between 1990 levels and the end of this decade.

The Australian Conservation Foundation welcomed the announcement, but said that the plan did not go far enough in reversing the growing impact of transport related pollution.

“It is highly encouraging to see Labor put forward credible policies to cut emissions across transport, manufacturing, energy and other parts of our economy, which stands in contrast to years of inaction by the Coalition government that has resulted in rising climate pollution,” ACF’s CEO Kelly O’Sanassy said.

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