NSW Labor has committed $10 million to fund the roll-out of electric vehicle charging outlets across the state, if it wins the upcoming election.
The party's innovation spokesperson, Swansea MP Yasmin Catley, announced the policy at Newcastle’s No.2 Sportsground car park on Friday. She said the city's council was "on the front foot" with pre-existing plans to install chargers on the site.
“What we see in New South Wales is stagnation of electric vehicle policy. What Labor is willing to do is put $10 million on the table to ensure we have infrastructure around the state," Ms Catley said.
“Car manufactures have said that this is critical. If we don’t have the infrastructure then we can’t follow up with the cars to charge."
She said the fund would provide a minimum of 50 fast-charging outlets. The party has also promised to make 25 per cent of the state government’s car fleet electric by 2025, and to create a $1 million education campaign about electric vehicles.
Newcastle mayor Nuatali Nelmes said commuters would be able to access electric vehicle chargers in the car park by the end of June.
“For us No.2 Sportsground car park is a test bed for Smart City technologies. At minimum two, and a maximum of four chargers, that is the plan on this site," she said.
The chargers are one element of the council's Smart Move Newcastle project. The federal government contributed $5 million to the project in 2017, on top of $10 million put forward by council and its partners at the time.
Ms Nelmes said Labor’s electric vehicle policy was a “wonderful announcement" and would allow the installation of outlets "much faster than we would have been able to previously".
"With our Smart City Strategy I would like to see every local centre, Beresfield, Wallsend, Carrington, almost suburb-based, so that everyone has access to these charging stations," she said.