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Your views: on electric car tax, TAFE and Coopers

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on charging electric car owners, privatising TAFE courses, and a local brewing institution.

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Commenting on the story: Budget 2020: The key measures

Budget courage or stupidity? At a time when South Australia is proudly leading the nation in our adoption of sustainable solar and wind power, why would we become one of the world’s first jurisdictions to punish electric car buyers?

If the government had penalised rather than incentivised solar panel purchasers a decade ago we would still be relying on a dirty coal fired power industry. If we had not led the recycling era with our container deposit legislation 40 years ago, our roadsides would be a mess of bottles and paper. If we hadn’t brokered the Tour Down Under in 1999 would we have such a vibrant zero-carbon community cycling culture?

Surely we should be the state that leads the world in the development of electric transport solutions, not the one that instigates the country’s first sustainability tax. – Peter Fuller

I think they’ve over-complicated the whole thing.

Over time, cars have become more fuel efficient, and require less fuel to go the same distance. Older cars pay more fuel excise, those who go further distance, pay more fuel excise. Along came hybrids (like the Toyota Prius) which is both an internal combustion engine (ICE) car and an electrical vehicle (EV), that goes a lot further on a tank of petrol. Drivers of those cars would pay far less fuel excise. So no, fuel excise is no longer a fair way to pay road use, and hasn’t been for some time.

Fuel excise has accidentally been transformed into a pollution tax. The more the driver pollutes (by buying and burning fossil fuels), the more they pay. As an ICE driver myself, I’m OK with that. I think it should be left as is.

Then we bring on the EVs. There is the hybrids, the plug-in hybrids, the battery EVs (BEV), the hydrogen-hybrids, the hydrogen based, etc. The list of variants just keep going. It’s better that all cars, regardless of the fuel source, pay road use tax.

An argument can be made for different types of vehicles should pay differently, and that’s fair enough. So my suggestion is for all cars to pay road use tax at registration (rego) time. That way different classes or different weights can have different road use taxes. And those that still require fossil fuels to run, can pay for the fuel excise too.Katrina Blichfeldt

This idea is like taxing non-smokers because they deprive the Government of potential tobacco tax! We need incentives to wean ourselves off fossil fuel vehicles, not a new tax before we’ve barely begun.

Besides, the excise is a federal tax, is added to general revenue, and finds its way back to the states indirectly. Eventually we may need a sensible road user tax system to replace the fuel excise levied equitably across all road users once EVs form a significant proportion of the fleet, and that includes heavy, commercial EVs.

A way to go yet. Needs a rethink. – David Everett

I have no objection to a vehicle road user tax replacing the current fuel tax, but it must apply to all vehicles (petrol, diesel and electric) currently classified as a ‘motor vehicle’. This can be achieved through GPS technology.

Essentially, this proposed tax must be must be Commonwealth initiated and standard across all states. – Geoff Piddington

The letter by Steve Shearer of the SA Road Transport Association claiming that a road user tax exclusively for electric vehicles is essential and unavoidable (Your views, 11/11) is misleading.

Let’s go to the facts. There is no road user levy for vehicles at the moment. Therefore an argument that taxing use of a certain type of vehicle (with, at the moment, little market share) on roads in one state is ‘essential’ is almost impossible to sustain.

The fuel excise is federal not state, and it goes to general revenue. There is no necessary relationship between it and road expenditure so long as it is possible to raise enough revenue from a range of sources. Carbon pollution isn’t taxed. Cigarette smokers are. Transport fuel is. The federal excise on biodiesel is considerably less than that imposed on other transport fuels. These are tax choices that governments ‘in their wisdom’ have made on our behalf. The lack of a carbon tax is particularly irrational!

Anyone buying and using an electric vehicle is generating more benefit to society than owners and users of petrol-driven vehicles which cause major air pollution problems. As they are contributors to economically-responsible decarbonisation (a bipartisan policy in SA now) it is counter-productive to hit them with a new tax.

The SA Parliament should reject the EV tax. Its effect would surely to be to limit the market for a new entrant and impede a pathway to a cleaner, safer, healthier future. – Jim Allen

There are serious issues with charging a road-user tax to EVs. EVs are assisting governments to meet their emission targets. Transport represents about half of our CO2 emissions.

EVs reduce harmful pollutants that cause respiratory illness and hence reduce our exposure to these expensive issues.

Adding this cost to an EV can make it more expensive to run than petrol. When I drove a Camry Hybrid I was paying as little as $5 per 100km, when fuel dropped below $1 per litre. But a Supercharger now costs $0.52/KWh. The Model 3 LR With a rated economy of 16kwh/100km costs over $8/100km. But, the Camry doesn’t get penalised for being frugal. Why? This would be consistent with you penalising EVs.  We are one of the only first world countries that don’t provide a rebate. Australia would be a laughing stock (except it is too serious an issue to laugh) to take this action. – Adrian Wood

Commenting on the story: Private providers favoured over “uncompetitive” TAFE”: Marshall

It seems to me when a service to the community is sold off to private providers, they need to make a profit for their shareholders. TAFE is an essential part of our education to all, not there to make money for the providers. – Lynn Graham

Commenting on the story: Can-do strategy drivers Coopers beer sales despite keg slump

Great to see Coopers doing so well and to see Australians backing a rare Australian owned beer, but I’m still devastated that they stopped producing and selling Coopers Premium Lager during COVID-19 lock down.

It was my favourite beer and I really struggle finding a nice Aussie owned and made lager that I like (that doesn’t taste like fruit) at the bottle and at pubs now. I hope they bring it back, I’d drink it in cans if that’s how they want to sell it. – Kati Jenkins

I always drink Coopers Sparking Ale because it’s natural brewed in bottle, but I have moved to the cans as easy to crush and recycle. Keep up the good work, and pushing S.A, Australian made. – Dale Eustice

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