Television Interview with Peter Stefanovic – Sky News – Tuesday 9 November 2021


SUBJECT/S: Lies, Damned Lies and Electric Vehicles.
PETER STEFANOVIC, HOST: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to release his electric vehicle strategy today, which is forecast to cut carbon emissions by over eight million tonnes by 2035. Joining me live now is Jason Clare. Jason, good to see you. Thanks for your time as always. So what is Labor’s response to that this morning?
JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS: This is no conversion, mate. That gives Scott Morrison too much credit. He’s no Saint Paul. The fact is, he lied to the Australian people at the last election. Plain and simple. If you’re a tradie that owns a ute or you’ve got a boat or a caravan or a four-wheel-drive that you take the kids out on the weekend, the Prime Minister didn’t just lie to the French president, he lied to you at the last election. All that crap about ending the weekend? Well, today this proves that was all a lie, all a bald-faced lie by the Prime Minister and it’s not the only one. I think the Australian people are starting to work this bloke out.
STEFANOVIC: What about some of the detail though, that’s going to be announced later on; 50,000 household chargers, 1000 public access stations, 1.7 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. There’s going to be no subsidies attached to that, though, but I mean, that seems to be quite doable.
CLARE: You need that sort of infrastructure if you’re going to have more electric vehicles. That’s a no brainer. But you also need to make the cost of these vehicles cheaper than they are at the moment. One of the reasons that not as many Aussies have electric vehicles as other countries is the cost of buying these vehicles. That’s why Labor has said we’ll get rid of the import tax and the fringe benefits tax on non-luxury electric vehicles. We want to cut the taxes on these vehicles to encourage more Aussies to buy them. Scott Morrison is not saying anything about that today. In other words, taxes on these vehicles are going to be higher under Scott Morrison than they will be under Anthony Albanese and Labor.
STEFANOVIC: Does Labor still want to have new car sales by 2030? Is that still reasonable ambition?
CLARE: We haven’t set a target. We’re not going to play into the hands of Scott Morrison. We know that he’s culpable and liable to tell all sorts of lies to try and trick people into voting for him. What we’ve said is, the way to get more Aussie’s into an electric vehicle is to cut the cost of them, cut the taxes that you pay when you buy them, so get rid of that import tax and get rid of that fringe benefits tax. But what you’re seeing here today from Scott Morrison doing a total 180 here proves that he believes in nothing and is willing to say anything to get elected. All this is about is desperately trying to cling on to power, even if it involves clinging onto the back of a Tesla. They’ll do anything they can to try and convince the Australian people after they’ve been in power now for almost a decade that they should get another three years in power and I’ve got to tell you, Pete, after all of the lies and the waste and the scandal and evidence here again today, that you can’t trust a word this Prime Minister says, they honestly don’t deserve another three years.
STEFANOVIC: Speaking of ending those taxes that you pointed out, what would you do about the loss in fuel excise that would come with a larger take up of electric vehicles?
CLARE: If you want to have more electric vehicles on the road, if you want to reduce emissions, then you’ve got to provide incentives for people to do it. I think this is a realistic, practical way to do that. There are a lot of Aussies that would love to jump into one of these electric vehicles, but it’s more expensive to buy them than other cars that you can see at the local car yard. It makes sense to do it.
STEFANOVIC: But you would have to increase taxes somewhere else right? If you were going to lose fuel excise, wouldn’t you have to increase the tax somewhere else?
CLARE: Let’s be clear about this. One, the answer to that is no. Second, this is not about fuel excise. This is about cutting the cost of buying an electric car by getting rid of those import costs, those import taxes and those fringe benefits taxes. But more generally, Pete, think about this. It costs about $4 for every 100 kilometres that you travel in electric vehicle, compared to about $14 for every 100 kilometres that you travel in a car run on petrol, so it’s going to save Aussies lots of money by being able to get one of these cars but they’re being held back at the moment by a government which lied to the Australian people at the last election and said this was all going to “end the weekend” and is now trying to tell people the absolute opposite today. It goes to character, it goes to trust, you can’t trust a thing that this bloke says.
STEFANOVIC: Boris Johnson announced a few weeks ago now, it’s basically been rubber stamped, that the UK will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030. Obviously, we are different countries, Australia much larger, we’ve got to travel further distances, much further distances. So do you believe that has any merit here that you could ban in any way the amount of sales of petrol and diesel fuelled cars?
CLARE: No, the short answer to that is no and much of this will depend upon what happens in the major car companies that produce these vehicles around the world. A lot of those big car companies are making that shift, right now.
STEFANOVIC: Yeah, they’re doing it anyway.
CLARE: They are but if you’re going to get more Aussies to buy them, they’ve got to be more affordable. That means getting rid of some of those unnecessary taxes that make these cars thousands and thousands of dollars more expensive than they need to be.
STEFANOVIC: You got one?
CLARE: No, not yet mate. But I tell you what, with Labor’s policy to cut the cost of it thousands more Aussies will.
STEFANOVIC: Okay. All right, Jason Clare. Good to see you. As always. We’ll talk to you soon.