Labor’s new tax bid to make homes EV ready
OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten will create a new "housing tax" by stealth under a plan to make new and renovated properties electric vehicle charger-ready, the Coalition will warn voters today.
A little-known element of Mr Shorten's policy was to establish an electric vehicle reform agenda through the Council of Australian Governments to help meet his 50 per cent sales target, in which Labor would "work with states to ensure new and refurbished commercial and residential developments include EV charging capacity".
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said it was unclear whether this would force all new homes to install electric vehicle chargers or upgrade wiring to allow for fast charging units.
"Labor is not only proposing a new tax on your new car but also on your new home. There's a whole raft of costs that Labor have not even considered that come with this policy," he said.
Coalition modelling reveals the bill could reach billions for new residential properties across the country over the next four years if every dwelling was forced to install three-phase power, and even more if chargers were required.
A Labor spokeswoman rubbished the suggestion of a housing tax but was unable to provide any detail on what was needed to make sure developments include EV charging capacity.
"It is a desperate lie.
"The Liberals will say and do anything to try to distract from their Clive Palmer-Pauline Hanson coalition of chaos," the spokeswoman said.
Mr Shorten appeared to back away on Wednesday from putting in place a firm national EV target of 50 per cent of new car sales by 2030.
"What I've actually said is that we'd like to see 50 per cent of new car sales be electric vehicles," he said.
"What Labor will do to help create, make that an option, is we want to help put in a network of charging stations so it's a real option for people."
Mr Taylor said Australians would expect infrastructure that could charge their car faster than 48 hours and not just an extra power point in the garage.
"Labor want to force Australians to ensure the wiring in their new home is compatible with electric vehicles, even if they don't own an EV," he said.
"Once again Bill Shorten has failed to realise the effects of his own policy of forcing their electric vehicle policy on all Australians."
Surgical precision in cancer campaign
A Labor star candidate is using a sick child whose life he saved to urge voters to back him.
The Labor campaign for Bennelong has distributed carbon-copied handwritten letters across the electorate authored by local couple Becky Li and Alex Chau who say candidate Brian Owler saved their daughter Chloe's life.
Dr Owler is a brain surgeon and former Australian Medical Association president.
"We write to ask you to support Dr Brian Owler, the brain surgeon who saved our daughter's life," the letter says.
"He is standing in the Federal Election and there could not be a better representative for Bennelong. Chloe was just five when she needed brain surgery to survive.
"It is because of Dr Owler that our daughter is a happy, healthy child and she is never afraid to go to hospital for treatment."
The couple also urgers voters to "make sure their vote counts and number every square".
The letter, which says it is authorised by NSW Labor boss Kaila Murnain in the same handwriting, is also printed in Mandarin on the reverse side of the page.
Labor confirmed the names, suburbs and content used in the letter are legitimate and not manufactured.
A $2.3 billion cancer plan to tackle out-of-pocket costs and wait lists has been one of the biggest ticket items of Bill Shorten's election campaign.
The Daily Telegraph has seen three letters opening with "dear neighbour" in different electorates using sick people to rally votes.
A similar handwritten note has been disseminated in the electorate of Banks from a man named "Andrew" who writes of his family's struggles to pay for cancer care.
"Dad did nothing to get cancer, and yet it has cost us thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years," it says.
Labor candidate for Banks Chris Gambian responded to criticism for using cancer victims in his advertising material on Facebook, saying he knew Andrew personally.
"I think Andrew and his family are brave for putting themselves forward and I think it's an indictment on politics that the first reaction from so many people is to assume that they are fake or lying," Mr Gambian said.
A third letter promoting Labor candidate Emma McBride for Dobell is authored by Trish Wesson, who says she has "recently been diagnosed with breast cancer", urging voters to back Labor.
- Anna Caldwell and Edward Boyd