Councils’ efforts to support electric vehicles backed by State Budget

NSW councils’ efforts to support greater electric vehicle (EV) use and meet net zero emission targets has been supported by the NSW Government’s announcement to spend almost $500 million transitioning to EVs as part of this week’s Budget.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Linda Scott said councils had led the charge in supporting greater EV use, including many councils replacing their fleets with EVs, and that they must now have a voice on how the State Government determines charging point locations.

“Councils have provided leadership for their communities to transition to EV use for years, and it is rewarding to see the efforts backed by funding in this week’s State Budget,” Cr Scott said.

“It is estimated the transport sector contributes about 20 per cent of New South Wales’ total greenhouse gases and is the second-biggest contributor to carbon emissions after electricity.

“While the Budget commitment includes waiving stamp duty on the EVs and provides funding for charging stations throughout the State, there is the crucial matter of where charging stations are placed.

“Ultimately, councils know their communities best and play a key role in land use planning for their areas, so it is important they are part of any discussions at the beginning of the process rather than an afterthought.”

Among the councils demonstrating leadership in adopting EV use and supporting charging stations:

  • Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick councils in Sydney’s eastern suburbs were among the first councils in Sydney to install public on-street EV charging stations in key destination hotspots from Coogee to Double Bay;
  • City of Newcastle built an E-Transit Hub solar-powered EV charging station that also provides 100 per cent renewable electricity to nearby sports fields;
  • Wagga Wagga City and Clarence Valley councils are among a number of councils that are procuring EVs for council vehicle fleets;
  • City of Sydney is using the land-use planning system to encourage EV charging infrastructure in high-density residential, commercial and industrial developments.
  • Hornsby Shire Council has developed policies that include installing EV charging on public land where appropriate and encouraging third parties to install charging stations too.

Cr Scott said the Budget support for EVs was a pleasing result for LGNSW advocacy on behalf of councils for Government to incentivise the uptake of the environmentally friendly cars, reduce carbon emissions and air pollution and fast track the rollout of charging stations, including in regional areas.

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