COTTESLOE councillors have been turned off from immediately changing the town’s budget to allocate $58,000 to buy an electric car to help save the planet.
“We could be buying a Toyota Prius at $21,000 and putting the rest back into the budget,” Cr Katrina Downes said.
At last month’s meeting, councillors considered a staff report on Cr Sandra Boulter’s request to investigate the viability of electric and hybrid vehicles,
The purchase could have helped the council’s 2012-adopted policy of reducing its then 20t annual carbon emissions to zero by 2020.
The report said the BMW i3 was the best option because it had no carbon emissions during its life, was made of renewable resources and was partly biodegradable.
Mitsubishi Outlander and Audi A3 hybrids were rejected because they had operating and servicing costs and produced some Co2 during their lives.
Cr Boulter’s push to get any environmentally useful car got bogged in discussions about how the council could justify the purchase and if it would be used during the day for council work or after hours for staff to get home.
“We currently have 13 vehicles and a staff of 42,” Cr Sally Pyvis, a bicycle rider, said.
Cr Pyvis said she was “astounded” a council of 4sq km and about 7500 residents could have that number of vehicles.
However, Mayor Jo Dawkins said the majority of the cars were part of staff salary packages.
Chief executive Mat Humfrey said the recommended BMW purchase reduced salary-provided cars by one and increased pool cars by one.
It was agreed to defer any decision on any electric or hybrid car until a later review of the council’s vehicle purchasing policy.