Recharging Ballarat Wrap
And we're off!
The Electric Ute Roadshow kicked off in my hometown of Ballarat on Saturday, and it was a great success. We were lucky to have the perfect venue for the launch - Federation TAFE's SMB campus, Australia's third-oldest tertiary institution but now equipped with all the modern facilities it takes to train the next generation of tradies. It was great to see the shiny blue LDV eT60 amongst all the machinery!
In the lane outside, Raf and Paul were enticing us all with the smell of an EV-powered BBQ from Gavin's BYD Atto. We had a great turnout of EV-owning locals who brought them along to display and chat to people about their experiences, including two electric motorbikes, a Tesla Model 3, a Nissan Leaf, and the new Kia EV6. Most impressive was Steve's 1948 Singer Ute, which he's recently converted to electric power! We loved this so much that we decided to name our LDV "Steve" in his honour.
It was a pleasure to kick things off with a Welcome to Country performed by Wadawurrung traditional owner Shannen Mennen, which beautifully connected us to the land where we were running the event. Shannen spoke of the creation story of the Ballarat area, with an eagle dropping seeds into the landscape - this really resonated with us, as we try to plant the seeds of a better future.
We were very fortunate to have the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government - and Member for Ballarat! - Catherine King MP, launch our Recharging Ballarat report and wish us well for the Roadshow. The Minister was excited to check out the ute, commenting that it wasn't so long ago that people were saying there were no electric utes anywhere in the world!
Researcher Tom Quinn then took us through the Recharging Ballarat report, pointing out the $80 Million the Ballarat region could save over 5 years if we fix Fuel Efficiency Standards. You can check out the report for Ballarat or other regions here.
Then it was my turn to jump on the stage and talk about the Electric Ute Roadshow! We'd heard from Tom about why the regions have so much to gain from the switch to electric vehicles, but we can't just assume that what works in the city will work in the regions – there are different needs and challenges and we need to make sure the policies are crafted with regional Australians in mind.
I’m really excited to travel around the regions as part of the Electric Ute Roadshow, telling people what we know about the current state of the technology, listening to their needs and concerns – and feeding that info back to Canberra, so the decision-makers can make sure the switch to EVs works for everyone.
My presentation marked the end of the formal proceedings, so we all went outside to see a carpentry display from a local tradie, David Paterson from Redfern Joinery, whose tools were charged from the EV battery - and to check out the local EVs, and eat some delicious snags!