$10m hydrogen injection to create jobs of the future

October 27, 2020

A re-elected Palaszczuk Labor Government will invest a further $10 million to continue developing Queensland’s job-creating hydrogen industry.

The $10 million boost will help to establish Queensland as a world leader in renewable energy exports while adding a new renewable fuel source for the domestic energy market.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the $10 million investment will be used to partner with industry on hydrogen projects, supporting Queensland’s plan for economic recovery and building on Labor’s election commitments to boost skills education to support emerging regional industries.

The additional investment will increase Labor’s Hydrogen Industry Development Fund to $25 million.

“Jobs are at the heart of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery – jobs for today and jobs for the years and decades to come,” the Premier said.

“We have seen an incredible shift towards renewable energy across the world over the last decade.

“Now the world is looking to hydrogen to fuel the future and we want them to get it from Queensland so we can create even more jobs in our regions, while continuing to grow traditional industries including coal and gas.

“Queensland’s publicly-owned North Quensland Bulk Ports Corporation is also investigating hydrogen export opportunities at the Port of Abbot Point after the port received interest from the market.

“NQBP’s main trades - bauxite, metallurgical coal, thermal coal, fuel, sugar and grain - support 27,000 jobs in the mining, agriculture and transport sectors, and we want that to increase.”

Industry experts will advise NQBP on infrastructure, land and operational requirements to develop a hydrogen export industry at the port.

“Under a re-elected Labor Government, Queensland will be well placed to be at the forefront of this exciting energy future,” she said.

“We’ve committed $45 million to enhancing skills and training facilities to match local industry opportunities, including a $2 million investment in hydrogen industry training at Gladstone State High School and $10.6 million for a Hydrogen and Renewable Energy training facility at Bohle TAFE in Townsville.

“We’ve also pledged $20 million towards the new Queensland Apprenticeships Centre at Beenleigh to deliver training for high-demand industries such as hydrogen.

“The Hydrogen Industry Development Fund has already supported SunMetals Zinc Refinery in North Queensland to build a hydrogen facility as well as a $4.2 million Australian-first domestic gas blending facility for Australian Gas Networks in Gladstone.”

Labor Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for Treasury Julieanne Gilbert said Labor’s new commitment to hydrogen showed the Palaszczuk Government was focussed on the future.

“Our longstanding industries play a massive role in regional economies like Mackay, and now we have an emerging opportunity with the hydrogen industry,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“We can make Central Queensland famous as a global source for clean hydrogen energy and that could mean hundreds or even thousands of regional jobs.”

Minister for Manufacturing and Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said only a Queensland Labor Government had a comprehensive plan to invest in a hydrogen industry and the skills needed to make it a success.

“Since the Palaszczuk Government announced its Queensland Hydrogen Strategy in 2019, we have been inundated with support from industry and potential trade partners,” Mr Butcher said.

“Our previous round of grants to support industry-led hydrogen projects was met with strong demand, so we know the opportunity for thousands of jobs is there as this industry grows.

“We selected Gladstone as the location for The Hydrogen Facility’s H2-Hub, a proposed multi-billion chemical complex for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia at an industrial scale, and we committed $250,000 to the establishment of the Redlands Research Facility that was first to export green hydrogen to Japan.”

Mr Butcher said Labor’s investment in hydrogen as part of Queensland’s plan for economic recovery would create jobs but the LNP was a threat to this and other industries.

“This election is on a knife-edge and voters have to make a vital choice between Annastacia Palaszczuk’s strong leadership and a COVID-19 recovery plan to create jobs in hydrogen and other industries or Deb Frecklington’s reckless decisions and plan for job cuts,” Mr Butcher said.

“The LNP has promised a surplus in the middle of a global recession caused by a global pandemic, and the only way Deb Frecklington could achieve that is with massive cuts.

“Now is not the time to risk Deb Frecklington and the LNP.”