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Merri-bek responds to the proposed electric vehicle tax

By January 4, 2021January 20th, 2021No Comments
Electric car with Moreland Council logo and Crowlands Wind Farm decal

Merri-bek City Council, as part of the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), has voiced opposition to the Victorian State Government’s proposed electric vehicle tax.

As part of ongoing advocacy to the state government for climate action, we are calling for a rethink of this proposed measure and stand alongside Melbourne, Yarra, Manningham, Banyule, Hume, Whittlesea and Nillumbik local governments as part of NAGA on this issue. The proposed electric vehicle tax is likely to discourage uptake of electric vehicles that are an important component of a sustainable transport system.

In the letter to the state government, we argue that “the tax will counter Victorian and local government policies and investments in the transition towards an all-electric society powered by renewables”.

As part of the response, NAGA asks the state government to develop an overarching transport emissions strategy rather than imposing isolated policy changes. This broader approach should “include priority investment in public transport and zero-emissions forms, e.g. walking and cycling”. These non-car transport options are essential in designing a sustainable transport system.

In a scenario where a road users’ tax was introduced, NAGA recommends that the policy incorporate incentives to get more car owners to adopt zero and low emissions vehicles. Crucially, our submission calls for the Victorian State Government to consult with councils and other key stakeholders before any further decisions are made.

Electric vehicle leadership in Moreland

Council integrated its first electric vehicle in its fleet in 2013 and now owns a total of 23 EVs and 10 private charging stations to refuel them. This is the largest local government EV fleet in Victoria.

As part of our commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2040, Merri-bek has a network of 16 publicly available electric vehicle charging stations which are powered by 100% zero emissions renewable energy from the Crowlands Wind Farm.

These stations are located at:

  • Merri-bek Civic Centre EV Hub at 90 Bell Street, Coburg, comprising of 3 charging stations including Victoria’s first electric vehicle ‘Fast Charge’ station, which can recharge up to 300 kms of driving range in an hour.
  • Boundary Road Cul-De-Sac, cnr Boundary Road & Sydney Road North Coburg where Council’s second DC ‘Fast Charge’ station is located.
  • CB Smith Reserve, Jukes Road, Fawkner
  • Brunswick Mechanics Institute at the David Street Carpark near the corner of Glenlyon and Sydney Roads, Brunswick.
  • Brunswick EV Hub at 13-15 Edward Street, Brunswick, which includes four charging bays and includes two new fast charge stations.
  • Oak Park Sports & Aquatic Centre, 563a Pascoe Vale Road, Pascoe Vale comprising of 3 charging stations.

Council provides community members who have an electric car with free use of these charging stations to encourage wider uptake of zero emission modes of transport.

Find out more about other sustainable transport actions you can take in Moreland.