ACT ban of petrol vehicles would be naïve and foolish elsewhere

The peak body for WA’s motor trade has urged other Australian jurisdictions to steer clear of the ACT Govt’s decision to announce a ban on the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2035.

MTA WA CEO Stephen Moir said the ACT will find it very difficult to achieve its promise and there are a number of key reasons other Australian States should not be tempted to jump on its bandwagon.

“There is widespread support for the work being done toward a carbon-neutral future fleet, but governments should take a leaf out of Mark McGowan’s book and consult before it makes grandiose promises purely for political expediency,” Mr Moir said.

“The ACT Government might be living in a Field of Dreams hoping ‘if they say it, the technology will come’, but for Australians outside the cozy Canberra bubble, this kind of virtue signaling is naïve and foolish.”

“With a tiny population, consistently low unemployment and less than 100km from border to border, the ACT’s goal might be achievable - despite current technology and supply barriers.”

“However, before any other jurisdiction decides to announce a cart before building the horse, there are some very serious questions that as yet, simply do not have answers.”

“For example:
  • Should politicians outlaw any particular type of technology to try to meet an objective or would it be smarter public policy to set a standard of Net zero CO2 and leave the how to the innovators?
  • Is there enough lithium and other non-renewable rare-earth minerals to build the batteries required to replace all ICE vehicles with EV’s?
  • What will be the environmental impact of mining and processing the minerals for batteries?
  • Will enough high-capacity charging stations be available for every motorist to fuel up when required - at what environmental and financial costs?
  • Will motorists be discouraged from upgrading old fuel-guzzlers to low-emission models?
  • Should Australian States be making these kinds of decisions in isolation or should the Commonwealth be united?”
“The ACT Government has made a political decision that will have many unforeseen consequences for the economy and environment without even asking these important questions.”

“The decision to make this announcement in isolation now is very unfortunate but let’s face it, other than the number of jets flying in and out carrying only a handful of passengers, there isn’t much else ACT politicians can demonise to appeal to extreme green voters.”

“The MTA WA supports bold, forward-thinking public policy but urges all governments to consult with the broadest possible range of stakeholders to obtain the facts before making any decision,” Mr Moir said.