NEWS THAT MATTERS

High voltage lets Morrison down

Has Scott Morrison had an electric epiphany or is it just Deja vu all over again? More than likely he’s having an electric dream, after his handbrake U-turn, that all the voltage that he believes is being gathered from his electric spin will have him crossing the election finish line in first place.

19 November 2021

 

IS “Scotty from Marketing’ a fair dinkum bloke? We know that he takes credit when credit is not due and we know that he will claim someone else’s creditable idea as his own. And that’s exactly what the advertising ‘ideas man’ did with Labor MP Bill Shorten’s electric vehicle policy.

 

Bill Shorten thought he was pretty original in rolling out an electric car future for Australia back in the good old days immediately before the 2019 election. It was a good idea then and it’s still a good idea, and now, out of desperation to win an election, Scott Morrison has stolen Bill’s plan.

 

Rolling back time to before the last federal election, Scotty, a Sydney's inner-eastern suburbs boy, was so concerned that Labor might knock his government off the perch with Bill’s electric vehicle (EV) policy he thought it a good idea to set the record straight. So, he pulled Bill aside and told him in no uncertain terms that EVs were just no good.

 

“They can't pull a caravan,” Scott Morrison said.

 

“They can't power a ute.

 

“If you live in a flat, you'll have to run an extension cord from out the window. They'll end the weekend.”

 

That is how Scotty set Bill straight about the downside of electric vehicles. And in a round about way, implied that anyone who embraced electric vehicles was a drongo.

 

Fast-forward to Scotty’s current electioneering hype and the ‘Born Again Climate Believer’ has had another moment of sudden and great realization – he will be the father of the nation’s way out of fossil fuel dependency.

 

If it were only true. And Bill Shorten certainly knows it isn’t true.

 

“Well," said Bill, “you could have knocked me down with a feather when I turned on the telly the other day. There was Scotty spruiking the economy-boosting benefits of the dreaded electric vehicle.

 

“As he sold the benefits, I couldn't help thinking I'd heard this somewhere before.

 

“There's been a fair bit of Deja vu around for me recently.”

 

In 2019 Bill Shorten went to election proposing a 45 per cent cut to emissions by 2030 and was condemned by the Business Council of Australia (BCA), who said “it would wreck the economy”.

 

Fast-forward to last month and the BCA now wants 45 to 50 per cent cuts.

 

It brings to mind the great anthem by the former member for Kingsford Smith.

 

"Short memory, must have a, short memory. Has the world changed or have I changed? I've seen weather-vanes with more conviction.”

 

Whichever way you look at it, the market has spoken. Electric vehicles are coming.

 

According to Bloomberg, global electric vehicle sales rose 80 per cent in 2021, with a predicted four million electric cars to be sold by year end. A record.

 

Despite practically every major car maker in the world planning and converting their fleets to electric, with tight targets in place, in 2020, only 0.7 per cent of new cars sold in Australia were electric.

 

By comparison, the same sales figure for the UK was 10.6 per cent and global leader Norway was 47.5 per cent.

 

Even the US has got its skates on, with car-manufacturing behemoth GM recently committing to all its vehicles being electric by 2035.

 

“I have recently been driving a Tesla,” said Bill Shorten.

 

“I was the first Australian Federal politician to request and receive a fully electric car.

 

“It's excellent to drive, it's economical and I feel like I'm helping the environment. And it's cheaper to run than a petrol car, saving the taxpayer money.

 

“I have estimated I'll save at least $4000 a year for the taxpayer on fuel alone. Not to mention maintenance.”

 

Back to ‘Scotty from Marketing’ and his electric spin.

 

While there’s no doubt that Morrison has belatedly jumped on the bandwagon, and it’s bankable that he’d still be saying EVs are crap if an election wasn’t around the corner. It's a real shame though that Australia has gained a reputation for being slow on the uptake when it comes to electric cars. With the sad farewell of Holden, our last Aussie car manufacturer, and a failure to invest and embrace in new technologies, Australia has recently been called the automotive third world.

 

And after Scotty’s dismal and pathetic lackluster performance in Glasgow, with his COPOUT26 solutions, global leaders may be now updating their rating as to which world Australia actually belongs to. Morrison’s empty presentation to an empty room, waving around his blue scamphlet, didn’t impress anybody.

 

The fact is, and Scott Morrison now realises it, that electric vehicles are a boon for consumers and are cheaper to run. Except Scotty has it all wrong – he doesn’t understand that for everyday Australians to be able to embrace EVs they have to be affordable.

 

But under Scotty’s plan, only the rich will be able to afford electric cars.

 

And what of Scotty’s previous hollow and disparaging words about EVs?

 

Contrary to what Scott Morrison said and believed, unlike the 1905 electric car that Grandma Duck drove in the Disney comics, and was often pulled along by her one-horse power Dobbin, today’s EVs have a bit of grunt under the bonnet. Today's electric vehicles are a quantum leap from the anaemic hybrids and e-vehicles of the past.

 

“As a country Australia needs to a move on. We can't let those who let our car industry slide away fearmonger us out of seizing future opportunities for this nation and its people,” Bill Shorten said.

 

“But I don't think it will be long before Australia is on song. The winds of change are blowing too strong. We just have to be ready.

 

“I've been speaking about a much-needed commitment to electric cars for some time now as a way for Australia to move with the times and to create jobs and opportunities for Australian workers and industry.

 

“There are real opportunities for Australia to claw some car-industry jobs back.

 

“I like to imagine a future Australia where not only are e-vehicles more obtainable for consumers but where Australia has a good slice of the global industry and the manufacturing jobs.

 

“Australia has always been faithful to good Aussie brands.

 

“There's a reason Ford and Holden did so well with the Falcons and Commodores that were made here for decades.

 

“But it's now time to imagine a new future where we see the rebirth of manufacturing and get on board with what every other leading country has already cottoned on to.

 

"No Deja vu about it."

Grapevine News Online

Central Coast NSW

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