The Government is prioritising a strong working relationship with industry, Senator the Hon Anthony Chisholm, Assistant Minister for Regional Development, told attendees at the HVIA Executive Club Event held at Energy Australia’s headquarters in Melbourne last week.
Senator Chisholm acknowledged the significance of the event and the venue.
“Here we are – government and industry – on a journey together towards a lower carbon future,” Senator Chisholm said.
“That journey began in earnest just five months ago – with the election of the Albanese Government. Since then, we’ve hit the ground running.
“We have enshrined into law an emissions reduction target of 43 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2050.
“In doing so, we are joining more than 70 countries who have set a net zero target by around mid-century, covering about 76 per cent of global emissions.
“As a Government, we will move forward methodically and purposefully, in consultation with industry.”
Assistant Minister Chisholm encouraged industry participants to engage with the Government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy discussion paper.
“The last few years have shown how important it is to ensure we have the capability to manufacture and build things here in Australia.
“The Discussion paper seeks feedback on how to unlock further growth and innovation in the full lifecycle of the EV value chain – to increase global supply.”
Assistant Minister Chisholm said the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have a funding envelope of almost $128 million to support fleets to shift to new zero emissions vehicle technology over the next four years.
“The aim is to support vehicle fleet operators to integrate this technology into their operations.
“Heavy vehicle operators are eligible for funding towards enabling infrastructure and some support for vehicle costs.”
Assistant Minister acknowledged that energy security and pricing are at the heart of the transition to a low emissions future.
He said the Government’s Rewiring the Nation policy will invest $20 billion to rebuild and modernise the Australian electricity grids, ensuring they can handle more renewable energy.
“This policy will increase the reliability of the grid while driving down prices by allowing more renewable energy projects to access the grid.
“I know that preparing the grid for zero-emissions vehicles is of concern to the HVIA. It is also of concern to the Government.”
He said the Albanese Government also understands reforms to axle mass limits may be needed to support the uptake of heavier low and zero-emissions trucks in the Australian market.
“We plan to work with states and territories and industry to consider options to ensure operators can purchase and safely utilise more low and zero-emissions trucks.
“My Department is currently working on two new Australian Design Rules – or ADRs – to address electric and hydrogen fuel cell safety.
“These ADRs are based on international standards and should give manufacturers confidence that they can use the same technology in Australia as they do for electric and other zero emission buses around the world.”
Senator Chisholm referenced the recent Government announcement confirming ADR 80/04 (adopting Euro VI) will be phased over 12 months from 1 November 2024.
“These standards will help give certainty to the heavy vehicle industry at a time when delivery times on new orders are stretching out as long as two years,” he said.
“It will also make it more viable for manufacturers to offer more the advanced safety and fuel-saving technologies other countries already have.
“We appreciate the leadership of many manufacturers who have already brought these advanced powertrains and safety technologies to market, despite the previous uncertainty.
“We all know it will be a challenge to transition entire fleets, given that vehicles already on the road can continue to comply with the standards applicable at the time they were supplied.
“And, as states and territories regulate in-service vehicles, cooperation with them will be necessary to progress any measures targeting in service vehicles.”
Assistant Minister Chisholm reiterated how important it is for Government to be working with industry.
“As we go down the path to Net-Zero, we know that business can be drivers of this.
“I also acknowledge the HVIA’s wide reach into the broader industry, through events such as the Brisbane Truck Show, where new vehicles are often seen first.
“As a proud Queensland Senator – I just had to mention it.”
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