Election 2022: Liberals’ campaign vision to tap into WA’s resources and energy riches

By Melissa Coade

April 19, 2022

Minister for Resources Keith Pitt.
Minister for resources Keith Pitt. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

The LNP plan for Western Australia is that more jobs will lead to a stronger economy, and Scott Morrison is offering a vision for the state to be a global ‘powerhouse’ for resources and energy as the ticket to prosperity.

In WA, the Coalition is promising more than 3,600 new jobs and two strategic projects for the critical minerals sector as the centrepiece of its election investment for the state. 

Morrison announced on Tuesday that extra jobs for WA’s supply chain industries, and $140 million for two new hydrogen hubs in the Pilbara and Kwinana (Perth) were key to his plan for a stronger future for Australia.

“My government will continue to back the resource, mining, mineral and energy sector in WA by creating more jobs and cutting red tape,” Morrison said in a statement. 

“Western Australia is a world leader in critical minerals and these investments are just the beginning of our commitment to the sector, alongside our new hydrogen hubs, which backs in the state’s status as an economic powerhouse for the whole country.”

The Coalition’s election pledge for the state includes $6 million to ‘investigate’ two new development projects, and $67 million to develop two carbon capture and storage hubs and support the appraisal of a third potential storage site in WA.

Under a critical minerals accelerator initiative, $4 million in funding for a tantalum and tin recovery plant at Greenbushes would go to Global Advanced Metals Pty Ltd; and $3.94 million for developing an Australian integrated graphite ore-to-battery anodes business based in Munglinup would be given to Mineral Commodities Ltd.

According to resources and water minister Keith Pitt, fast-tracking WA projects to market with a view to driving more investment was an important part of the government plan to create a global powerhouse.

“Australia possesses extraordinary reserves of critical minerals crucial to many industries including medical equipment production, defence, aerospace, automotive and agritech.

“The Critical Minerals Accelerator Initiative is yet another example of how this Government is backing the resources sector to strengthen our national economy and create jobs, especially in regional Australia,” Pitt said.

Industry, energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor said low-cost gas, great solar and wind potential, and a skilled workforce in resources and fertilisers gave WA a ‘competitive edge’ as an industry growth state.

“These hydrogen projects in WA will bring over $413 million of new private and public investment into the regions and can create over 3,600 jobs initially when operational – but this is just the start of hydrogen’s potential benefits,” Taylor said.

“Our commitments will create jobs, boost clean exports, and help to drive the production costs of hydrogen down, the heart of our technology-focused approach to reducing emissions.” 

Taylor also claimed that from 2028, the Burrup and Mid West hubs could cut emissions by a combined 7.4 million tonnes per annum.

The PM added his plan was a boon for regional Australia, and would place the country as a global producer and exporter of clean hydrogen by 2030, offering figures that Australian hydrogen production for export and domestic use could generate more than $50 billion in additional GDP by 2050. 

He also suggested clean hydrogen exports could directly support 16,000 jobs by 2050, plus an additional 13,000 from the construction of related renewable energy.


Public agencies collaborate for critical minerals research and development

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