In addition to the water buyback scandal, poor Angus Taylor is having a tough time. Having escaped the enforced silence inflicted on so many of his ministerial colleagues (Price, Hunt, Payne, Tudge, Hawke, Keenan) by the Morrison government, he has demonstrated why that enforced silence was perhaps a good idea.
On the innocuous side, Angus Taylor made the silly error of congratulating himself using his own Twitter account. He said: “Fantastic. Great move. Well done Angus”1,2. It is always wise to make certain you are using your bogus account when you want to congratulate yourself.
The Labor Party have said they will fund a $1 billion roll out of solar panels and batteries on thousands of public schools if it wins the federal election this month3. So what did Angus Taylor say in reply to this policy? He tweeted “Shorten wants to turn our schools into power stations. Last time Labor built things in our schools it didn’t go so well. And he won’t tell us the cost of his plans. If you cannot understand the costs, you can’t afford Shorten”4. Yet, some months beforehand, Taylor launched Australia’s first off-grid solar and battery powered classroom at Bracken Ridge State High School in Brisbane. In doing so, he said “put simply this is a classroom that’s got solar cells on its roof, it’s got a battery and that means it doesn’t have to connect up to the grid. The reason this is so important is it delivers very significant savings in avoiding big up-front connection costs of thirty of forty thousand dollars, but if you take that same initiative and apply it in rural areas and areas where there is a lack of transmission potential…the savings can be replicated many, many times over”5.
On top of this embarrassment, Taylor’s alma mater, the Kings School in Parramatta, one of the wealthiest schools in Australia, has installed a 20 Kilowatt system of photovoltaic cells for sustainability, and to have a positive impact on the “economic and social aspects of the school and wider community”6. That means they want to save money by installing renewables.
Clearly Angus Taylor has not read the coalition memo to not mention electric vehicles after the abject embarrassment generated by their response to the Labor Party’s policy to have 50% of new car sales by 2030 being electric7,8,9. Taylor has said that “Bill Shorten and Labor’s car tax will see a host of popular vehicles and engines Australians want[,] stripped away from them”. The missing comma is symptomatic of the Daily Bellylaugh. Taylor added that Labor’s policy was “a tax on the vehicle you choose to drive, the vehicle you want to tow your boat, caravan, camper trailer, the car you can fit your family in or the car you want to take off road”10. While there are no taxes involved in Labor’s policy (except for allowing businesses a tax DEDUCTION for fleet electric cars), the Coalition seems to think if they append the word ‘tax’ on everything Labor says, it will frighten people into voting for them. It was unfortunate for the Coalition that Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, spilled the beans on this tactic with regard to the ‘Carbon tax’11.
Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, General Motors, Ford, Honda and Toyota have all announced ambitious plans regarding electrification of their vehicle lineups. For example, Toyota has announced that by 2025 every Toyota and Lexus model on sale around the world, including trucks and four-wheel drives, will be available in electric or hybrid versions12. So, the Coalition’s assertion that Toyota’s Kluger, Landcruiser and Tarago are on Bill Shorten’s ‘hit list’ and will be stripped away from Australian drivers5 is just more equine ordure, given Toyota’s plans.
As if this wasn’t enough to demonstrate that Taylor is not playing with a full deck and has swallowed the Abbottism (oppose at all costs) kool-aid, he has now come out and claimed that billions of dollars would need to be spent installing three phase capacity on all new houses to deal with electric vehicle charging stations. This was, of course, printed a gospel in the Daily Bellylaugh. As the Electric Vehicle Council’s Behyad Jafari, this claim is “truly ludicrous” and is a “laughable lie”13. Charging an electric car is possible via a standard electrical power point (240 volt AC/15 Amps). This can allow an electric vehicle to be charged at home overnight14.
Taylor is just another in the conga-line of idiotic Coalition parliamentarians who, in the absence of any of their own policies to promote, can only lie about those put forward by the Labor Party. Apparently, Taylor has been mooted as a future leader of the Liberal Party. If that is the case, the Liberal Party is in deep, deep trouble.