TED O’BRIEN MP
Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
SENATOR ROSS CADELL
Nationals Whip in the Senate
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
22 August 2022
PORT OF NEWCASTLE’S FUTURE UNDER THREAT
A world-leading clean hydrogen hub proposed for the Port of Newcastle is under threat as the Albanese Labor Government fails to confirm it will honour a $100 million investment for the project in the 2022 Federal Budget.
A potential $100 billion hydrogen export industry could redefine the port and the local Newcastle economy but Labor has remained quiet on the funding being delivered in full.
Despite this game changing investment holding bipartisan support during the 2022 election campaign, the Albanese Labor Government has failed to confirm its support for the project since coming to office.
Visiting the Hunter region, Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy Ted O’Brien called on the Albanese Labor Government to honour the budgeted commitment.
“The Hunter region is a powerhouse of industry and energy and is perfectly positioned to become a booming hydrogen production and export hub,” said Mr O’Brien.
“Labor makes grand gestures on clean energy, but its words will prove hollow if the Hunter’s hydrogen future is ripped out from underneath local workers and industry.
“Labor doesn’t like the fact that it was the Coalition that was backing the Hunter on this project.
“I call on the Albanese Government to stop playing politics and honour the $100 million investment.”
Former Special Projects Director and newly minted Senator for New South Wales, Ross Cadell said the funding commitment was critical to secure Hunter jobs and support the broader economy.
Nationals Senator Ross Cadell said this just isn’t about making the funding disappear, it is about the Hunter’s future disappearing.
“The new Government can’t be in partnership with the Greens in cancelling our industries of today whilst also deciding to cancel the Hunters opportunities of tomorrow,” Senator Cadell said.
“During my time at the Port, local Labor MPs were supportive of both the Hydrogen Project and the Container Terminal. Now they are in government, that support must continue and they should be on the phone to Prime Minister Albanese and demand it has to stay.”
The $100 million commitment inked in the March Federal Budget was later strengthened in April by $82 million in investments in two key projects; the Origin Energy Future Fuels Hunter Valley H2 Hub Implementation Project and; Port of Newcastle’s Hydrogen Hub.
These two projects received $41 million each and would draw an additional $281 million in private investment.
This funding will not only make Hunter the home of hydrogen but a ‘super hydrogen hub’.
Combined these three projects are estimated to create over 2,300 jobs when operational, with additional local construction jobs possible through designated port upgrades.
Clean hydrogen exports could directly support 16,000 jobs by 2050, plus an additional 13,000 jobs in renewable energy infrastructure construction.
The Liberal and National Parties have led the way to grow our future hydrogen industry and capitalise on potential export opportunities.
Albanese and Labor are walking away from good projects that will create jobs and strengthen our regional economies.
Sharon Claydon in support of the $82 million investment into the two Hunter electrolyser’s funded by the former Coalition Government.
• Newcastle MP Sharron Claydon says investment in the Hunter’s energy future deserves support from both sides. “The Government has discovered the importance of investing into regional centre’s like Newcastle and our region that are extremely professional and experts when it comes to both the generation and distribution of energy.” Sharon Claydon said.
Pat Conroy in support of the $100 million Budgeted investment made by the Coalition In the 2022 Budget.
• Shortland MP Pat Conroy welcomed the hydrogen funding. “I welcome the investment to begin the work of establishing a hydrogen and ammonia hub at the port of Newcastle and we will support it,” Pat Conroy said.
The Hunter Hydrogen hub was one of seven prospective locations across Australia that the former Coalition Government had identified and provided funding support.
Other locations included Bell Bay (TAS), Darwin (NT), Eyre Peninsula (SA), Gladstone (QLD), Latrobe Valley (VIC), Hunter Valley (NSW), and Pilbara (WA).
Collectively these hydrogen hubs would create jobs across Australia and fast-track Australia’s push to be a global leader in the new energy economy.