10 May 2023

Cook Shire Council calling for EV car chargers

| Matt Nicholls
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COOK Shire Council has called on the state government to extend the rollout of electric vehicle charging stations to Lakeland and Cooktown after dozens of enquiries from EV car owners, who want to visit the region.

The state government has been a world leader in rolling out charging stations having launched sites in Cloncurry, Charleville, Charters Towers and Cunnamulla, but so far the Far North has been left out.

The Super Electric Highway – branded by the government – reaches Cairns and Port Douglas but hasn’t yet been extended to Atherton, Mareeba or Cook Shire.

Mayor Peter Scott said the council had received so many requests that it was now looking at options to install its own.

He said it was a “no-brainer” that the Cape was included in the next roll-out.

“Cape York Peninsula is home to some of the most remote and vulnerable environments and communities in Australia, so extending the green highway to Cooktown and then further into the Cape is a no-brainer,” Cr Scott said.

“There are the obvious social and economic benefits for the region, which include more jobs and tourism growth.

“There’s also the opportunity to reduce Australia’s dependence on foreign oil imports and improve our energy security.

“The sheer size and remoteness of our region also presents a unique opportunity to become a hub for clean energy research and development.

“Australia has made a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting clean energy yet the exclusion of Cape York from the electric highway is incredibly inconsistent with this and represents a missed opportunity to build a more sustainable, prosperous and resilient future for the region and the country as a whole.”

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey charges his Tesla in Gympie.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey, who drives an electric vehicle, said he hoped to have good news for Cook Shire in the coming weeks.

“Last year we announced a $10 million electric vehicle charging infrastructure co-fund, which allowed organisations and councils such as those in FNQ to apply for co-funded infrastructure,” he said.

“We’ve received a huge number of applications and will be making an announcement about their locations in the coming weeks.

“Some councils have chosen to supplement the Super Electric Highway by installing their own EV charging units and I welcome any moves to do so.

“As EV numbers grow, we are starting to increasingly see private sector funded EV chargers installed in more locations as well.

“The Palaszczuk government has led the way on electric vehicles. We were the first Australian state to develop an EV strategy, and the Queensland Electric Super Highway has been leading the nation when it comes to charging infrastructure.

“The Electric Super Highway is currently being expanded to almost 3800km, and will be made up of 55 charging stations across the state once fully complete later this year.”

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