Labor plan to open NSW to driverless cars and renewables

In Parliament |

Labor Leader Luke Foley has used today’s budget reply speech to outline a plan to open NSW for business in clean technology industries, including the emerging driverless car industry. 

The Hunter region would become a national hub for clean energy and the development of driverless cars, an industry forecast to be worth $90 billion globally by 2030. 

Driverless cars have the potential to transform the state’s road network – improving traffic efficiency, cutting congestion and reducing the road toll. 

Labor would bring forward legislation to legalise the testing of autonomous electric cars on designated public roads. Designated Roads in the Hunter region would become the first in the state to trial driverless cars. 

Land release areas and substantial new developments should also be future proofed - built with support infrastructure for electric cars. 

The Hunter region will also lead the state on renewable energy by using its world class institutions, highly skilled manufacturing sector and long experience in commercialising innovation. 

Institutions such as the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources at the University of Newcastle and CSIRO are both well placed to position the Hunter as a national hub of clean technology. 

A lack of investment and delayed planning rules by the Baird Government has meant the Hunter and other regional and rural parts of NSW have missed out on billions of dollars of investment in renewable energy. 

The Climate Council has ranked NSW last amongst Australia’s states and territories for renewable energy. 

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley 

“Today I have advanced Labor policy solutions for a modern NSW economy. 

“Driverless cars will be with us sooner than many might think and the Hunter should lead the way. 

“Driverless cars have the potential to transform our road system – improving traffic efficiency, cutting congestion and reducing the road toll. 

“I want NSW to be in from the ground floor – open for business for this exciting emerging industry that’s forecast to be worth more than $90 billion by 2030. 

“The Hunter region is perfectly placed to build new and exciting opportunities in the emerging low carbon global economy with all the ingredients for a national hub of clean technology industry. 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy Adam Searle 

“Under the Baird Government renewable energy in NSW has continued to lag behind the rest of the country with a lack of investment and commitment from the Government key parts of the problem. 

“Regional and rural NSW has missed out on billions of dollars in investment thanks to the Baird Government’s inaction on renewable energy.” 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Yasmin Catley 

“We have the potential to lead the nation in capitalising on the emerging driverless car industry and capturing the highly-skilled, well-paying jobs that will flow from it. 

“This announcement recognises the expertise we have in the Hunter and presents an exciting opportunity to grow our next major industry.” 

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Hunter Kate Washington 

“The Hunter Region is ready and willing to use its expertise and infrastructure to lead the state renewable energy and innovation agenda.”