Launch of the Tesla Charge Station in Traralgon

Yours truly and Greens Ian Onley (photoDave Hollis)
Yours truly and Greens Ian Onley (photoDave Hollis)

I, along with half a dozen other candidates in both Gippsland and the Senate, attended the launch of Gippsland Solars’ public electric car charging station on Thursday 9th. It was basically a media event with Matt from Win TV doing the rounds and interviewing all candidates and all of us in turn going for a trundle in one of the two Tesla vehicles present. Quite impressive and with photo ops galore.

The local member Darren Chester, who I have described elsewhere in this blog as a ‘climate dinosaur’, was of course present. It takes a fairly thick skin to stand with a smile on your face next to a revolutionary new transport mode and yet have extolled the benefits of coal and the fact that the valley has enough coal to last 500 years. And, as well, still be grouped with those parliamentarians politely described as ‘climate sceptics’.

Andy McCarthy of Gippsland Solar spoke of the marvellous opportunities for electric car tourism in Gippsland, that the energy for the charging was from solar panels and the use of the facility was free. He anticipates the number of electric vehicles in Gippsland will undergo massive growth. Andy noted that “Many of our solar customers are choosing to add a Tesla Powerwall or equivalent battery to maximise their solar power savings. It gives them control over the power they produce and consume, any time of day, completely independent from the power grid’s inequitable feed in tariffs.”

He added: “Solar battery and storage is becoming a complete solution for all power needs in our modern lives, and we want to take the lead in educating Gippslanders where this market is heading. The jobs and investment that this can unlock has no limit, and I would love to see the Gippsland region benefit from the jobs that this shift in the energy market will create.”

Here! Here! And a few kilometres away to the south the chimney stacks of Loy Yang are smoking – yesterday’s technology awaiting the ‘just transition’.