Senate debates

Thursday, 24 November 2022


Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022; Second Reading

11:35 am

Photo of Dean SmithDean Smith (WA, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury) Share this | Hansard source

I'll return to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Electric Car Discount) Bill 2022. I have just a few more paragraphs of my contribution to add in conclusion.

In government, the coalition's Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy was part of our plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The coalition provided a detailed strategy for a technology led approach to reduce transport emissions based on the principles of partnering with the private sector to support uptake and to stimulate co-investment in future fuels; focusing on reducing barriers to the rollout of future fuel technologies, not taxes; and expanding consumer choice by enabling informed choices and by minimising the costs of integration into the grid. And, again, in government, the coalition committed $2.1 billion to help increase the uptake of low- and zero-emission vehicle technologies.

With increasing pressure on inflation, ensuring there's a demonstratable benefit to government expenditure is even more important now than it was before. But this is not what this bill does. As the coalition senators pointed out in the Senate Economics Committee report, most Australians will be unable to benefit from this tax policy change, which is extremely narrow in its application. It will mean that people working in small businesses are less likely to access the proposed tax policy change due to the lower level of use of salary packaging in small and medium businesses. For these reasons, the opposition will not support the government's bill.

My second reading amendment, which has already been circulated in my name, outlines the points that I have made today and also in my previous contribution. I move:

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate:

(a) notes that:

(i) with this policy the Government has failed to:

(A) establish clear criteria and metrics of success for the policy,

(B) ensure the expenditure is temporary, proportionate, and linked to tangible productivity gains,

(C) quantify any benefit of the policy to electric vehicle uptake, to emissions reduction, or the budget bottom line,

(D) tangibly address the biggest constraint on electric vehicle uptake, which is supply and infrastructure, and

(E) consult with business and civil society on policy design,

(ii) the legislation does not address the core supply issues of electric vehicles, and will not substantially close the consequent cost gap between electric vehicles and non-electric vehicles,

(iii) the Coalition supports increased uptake of low and zero emissions vehicles and the Coalition government's focus was on enabling consumer choice when it comes to new vehicle and fuel technologies, and

(iv) the Coalition is focused on partnering with industry to support the uptake of new vehicle technologies and creating the necessary enabling environment to support uptake, which includes helping to support the infrastructure roll-out and ensuring that the electricity grid is ready; and

(b) calls on the Government to invest the substantial medium-term cost of the measure in supporting practical electric vehicle infrastructure and cost of living relief for hard working Australians".


No comments