Mayor responds to electric car media reports

Published: 30 Sep 2019 4:10pm

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM has responded to recent media reports focusing on the city’s purchase of a new electric car.

Cr Conkey said there were certain inaccuracies and some misconceptions around the purchase of the Hyundai IONIQ electric vehicle which were highlighted in those reports.

“Some of these reports were not entirely accurate and also put forward some misconceptions about the city’s new electric car,” Cr Conkey said.

“I feel it is important to set the record straight in the interests of the community, and to provide context around the purchase of this vehicle.

“The car was purchased as part of Council’s fleet of vehicles to be used by staff on their daily duties such as attending meetings, community events, consultation sessions, inspections or other tasks. The vehicle is ideal for the numerous short distance trips made by staff each day and is about 70 per cent cheaper to power per kilometre than a standard combustion engine.”

Cr Conkey clarified that the vehicle was not purchased as the Mayor’s car.

“It is not my car to drive as the mayoral vehicle,” he said.

“When available, and alongside staff use, Councillors were provided with an option to make use of the electric vehicle, noting its primary purpose was as a staff pool vehicle. I currently have another car issued to the Mayor’s role.”

Cr Conkey said the introduction of the electric vehicle as a Council fleet car is part of Council’s commitment to the Cities Power Partnership Program, which it joined in December 2017.

“All Councillors agreed to join this program. The report was unanimously passed at the 18 December 2017 Council meeting. All Councillors were present at that meeting,” Cr Conkey said.

“On Tuesday 12 June 2018, Council adopted the five pledge items for the Cities Power Partnership programwhich included the budget for the electric fleet vehicle as an additional car pool vehicle for staff.

“All councillors present voted in favour of the report which went through englobo.”

Cr Conkey said he was requested by Council to utilise the electric vehicle on a trip to Sydney for any Council business, and report back to Council on a number of findings about the car.

“I was not present at the meeting when that decision was made. However, I have agreed to consider this request. I will plan a business trip to Sydney and will investigate when and how that happens with the assistance and advice of Council staff.”