National Economic Panel



ESA National Economic Panel Polls





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Author's Name: Rebecca Cassells
Date: Tue 04 May 2021

Rebecca Cassells

Curtin University

Responses (2)

Transition to electric cars

Poll 47

This month, our panellists were asked whether Australia should take action to speed the transition to electric cars.

"As part of efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Australian governments should take action to accelerate the take up, or take no action to accelerate the take up of electric cars"

Photo credit "Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND"


Remove the luxury car tax from all-electric cars, Subsidise public charging points for electric cars, Make charging points compulsory in new homes and new carparks


Australia needs to take a holistic approach to reducing CO2 emissions. Encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles will only be effective if the reliance on non-renewable energy sources is reduced at the same time. The volume and variety of EV production and sales has been increasing significantly world-wide, placing downward pressure on prices ? and they cost less to run than oil-fuelled vehicles. Households are already buying EVs to take advantage of lower running costs and more will likely follow suit as prices come down further. Governments should direct resources towards infrastructure needed to accommodate an EV fleet, including public charging points and incorporating charging capabilities into new home planning. At some stage setting a target date where ultimately petrol and diesel vehicles will be phased out will be needed, but this needs to happen alongside other policies. The long-term viability of current battery options for EVs, battery recycling facilities, along with the integration of EVs into electricity grids will need to be assessed and planned for.

The Federal Budget May 2021

Poll 46

"On May 11, the government delivered a budget designed, in the Treasurer's words, to 'secure Australia's economic recovery and build for the future'.  What grade would you give the budget given that objective, A, B, C, D, E, F?"

Photo credit Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND




The 2021-22 budget deserves a B grade. It targets spending where it?s needed, seeks to incentivise business investment, household spending and job creation through tax breaks and is fiscally responsible recognising that government is capable of carrying greater levels of debt. Almost half of the $74.6bn new spending commitments are targeted at addressing significant social and economic issues that have long needed additional resourcing - child care, aged care, disability support care and suicide prevention. In time, more will need to be done to improve the structure of these services and ensure longer-term funding sustainability. The forward estimates look reasonable, with some notable outliers including the expected 12.5% growth in non-mining business investment in 2022-23. The extension of the full expensing and loss carry-back are expected to drive much of this growth and ultimately contribute $18bn to GDP at a cost of $20.7bn. The initiatives are also expected to add 60,000 jobs ? this is a stretch and the connection likely to be quite tenuous. The reinstatement of the women?s budget statement is also a significant step and worth noting. There are shortcomings, but it?s a good start.