The Liberal Party’s election campaign has been derailed by federal minister Senator Michaelia Cash’s attempts to step up the government’s attack on Labor’s policy on electric vehicles (EVs).
Senator Cash has previously echoed government criticism of Labor’s plans by warning that tradies would lose their utes under Bill Shorten’s target of having 50% EVs in the nation’s car fleet by 2030.
The government has a similar target but that did not prevent Liberal Party attacks last week by senior figures from Prime Minister Scott Morrison down aimed at deriding Labor’s policy to encourage take-up of EVs.
Yesterday, Senator Cash doubled down on her attacks by calling a media conference at which she took a sledgehammer to a vehicle she claimed was an electric car.
“This is what voters who don’t want to lose their existing petrol-engined cars should do to Labor at the ballot box on 18 May,” she said in between swinging the sledgehammer to demolish the car.
But after she had taken several dozen swings at the vehicle, one of the Senator’s aides approached her to say she had mistakenly demolished her own chauffeur driven ComCar limousine.
The EV bought especially for the media stunt was sitting unscathed behind the by-then undriveable Ministerial limo.
Senator Cash and her staff then quickly piled into the EV and drove quickly and quietly, very quietly, away as reporters unsuccessfully gave chase.
A senior Liberal Party campaign official speaking to The Bug on condition of anonymity said Senator Cash had not sought approval for the stunt.
“If she had, Senator Cash would have found out we were desperately trying to back away from the whole EV debate because we had copped a lot of criticisms and polling showed nobody believed our arguments,” the insider said.
“Senator Cash has singlehandedly helped to derail our campaign with her unauthorised stunt.
“This has backfired badly — and that’s something that’s not even technically possible with EVs themselves,” the insider said.