The World Solar Challenge: Submission to The Honorable Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment from Richard Kuipers of Two Men and a Truck
I bring this event to the attention of the Minister because it aligns closely with the government’s emphasis on innovation and renewable energy. It also allows business to work in a practical way to promote stated government policy. As a leading company in the transport industry Two Men and a Truck has a proven record of social and environmental responsibility and a genuine stake in promoting solar powered transport.
Two Men and a Truck was a proud sponsor of The World Solar Challenge in 2015, a biannual event run from Darwin to Adelaide that attracts young talent from universities across Australia and the world. Participating university teams apply discipline and commercial and technical skills to develop an original solar vehicle from scratch. They then bring these vehicles to race right through central Australia, a part of the world so unique and new to every one of them – even our Australian university teams.
The World Solar Challenge creates solutions for real world climate problems while setting a great practical example for our young people to have hope in the future, and to nurture their aspirations to dream and act on that hope. This practical demonstration of innovative science and technology occurs here – right in northern and central Australia.
How could we let this exceptional opportunity for government and business to work together on such a vital issue pass us by? Australia was unrepresented by government at the 2015 World Solar Challenge. As the host country for this unique international event we need to align government with business in The 2017 World Solar Challenge by, for example:
- having the Minister present for the starter’s gun in Darwin
- promoting solar initiatives of Australian governments and businesses through the media in conjunction with the event
- using the event to promote northern and central Australia nationally and internationally as the host of The World Solar Challenge
- informing schools and communities along the route about the race so they can participate and learn about solar and other forms of energy.
Should the Minister be amenable I can undertake to notify him and his staff in anticipation of the 2017 World Solar Challenge. This will be to allow effective discussion and arrangements for organising press releases, appearances, speeches and photo opportunities for the Minister.