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Energy, Government Federal

EX-COAL MINERS, PARENTS AND ENERGY ADVOCATES ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S “FUTURE MADE IN AUSTRALIA ACT”

Climate Media Centre 5 mins read

April 11 2024

 

The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced the Federal Government’s “Future Made in Australia Act” designed to speed up investment in clean, Australian-made renewable energy.

 

While analysts say the investment will help Australia keep pace with the world, local communities are looking to see the details. The following people are available for comment.

 

To arrange interviews, please contact:

Jemimah Taylor, Climate Media Centre 0478 924 425 /

jemimah.taylor@climatemediacentre.org.au

 

Jacqui Street, Climate Media Centre 0498 188 528 /

jacqui.street@climatemediacentre.org.au

 

WORKERS AND FAMILIES

Darryl Best, former coal miner, has worked in the industry all his life, during his career, he’s seen people grapple with the loss of income in an ageing industry. Now retired he advocates for the government to establish a skills and training base to support workers in the transition to renewables in the Illawarra. 

‘’It’s excellent to hear the Government is making moves with its Future Made in Australia Act. The Illawarra’s industry was traditionally built on coal and steel, but we know to cut climate pollution and keep our regions thriving, we’ve got to tap into the Illawarra’s clean industry potential. We’re hopeful that as we learn more details about the announcement, part of the Government’s focus will be on upskilling and training for industry workers in our region into renewable energy industries.’’ Location: Illawarra, NSW.

Nic Seton, Parents for Climate CEO, can speak about Australian parents’ calls for greater investment in clean energy, including Parents for Climate’ current campaign for state and federal government support for solar panels and batteries for schools and early childhood centres. Location: Sydney

Tony Wolfe, former senior plant operator at Latrobe Valley coal power station with 40 years experience, board member of Gippsland Climate Change Network and member of community advisory groups for Star of the South offshore wind farm and Delburn Wind Farm. Tony Wolfe, former senior plant operator at Latrobe Valley coal power station with 40 years experience, board member of Gippsland Climate Change Network and member of community advisory groups for Star of the South offshore wind farm and Delburn Wind Farm. Location: Warragul VIC

 

QUEENSLAND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Vincent Dwyer, co-founder and CEO of Energy Estate and Director of Central Queensland Power - Vincent is one of the region's most experienced industry leaders on major energy transition opportunities, working with local and global partners to accelerate impactful projects. For over 25 years he has been at the forefront of developments in the energy and infrastructure sectors in Australia and Asia, from major acquisitions and privatisations to the development of energy markets, the deployment of new technologies and the scaled development of renewable energy. Location: Gladstone, QLD

Dr Amanda Cahill, CEO, The Next Economy. 

Amanda is the CEO of The Next Economy, an organisation that supports regional communities across Australia to build more resilient, climate safe and socially just economies. Working with government, industry and community groups across Australia, Amanda’s recent work includes partnering with the Gladstone Regional Council to develop a ten-year roadmap to best manage the economic transition to net zero. Location, Brisbane, QLD

Dr Cahill said: “This is an important announcement at a pivotal time for Australia as the world races to decarbonise. Everyone is competing to build the industries that will be the basis of national prosperity, which means everyone is competing for the same components needed to build a renewable future.

“For the first time in decades, Australia can expand its manufacturing base to meet this domestic and international demand. Small, medium and large-scale companies across Queensland in regions like Central Queensland, Townsville and Mt Isa are already manufacturing RE components like towers for wind turbines, inputs for solar panels and electronics, processing important minerals like copper, bauxite and zinc, making green chemicals and hydrogen, and even batteries and electric vehicles. 

“We hear from industry everywhere we go that government support like this is crucial to unlock private investment. Public finance has always played an important role in moments of large-scale and rapid transformation, from setting up the mining industry to building electricity and transport infrastructure. This moment of transformation is no different. 

“This level of government ambition offers huge potential for regions, like Gladstone in Central Queensland where local government is already attracting new investment and government support under their 10-year Economic Transition Roadmap. But only if it’s approached holistically and that means ensuring better support for essential services and housing so that communities genuinely benefit over the long term.”

 

HUNTER BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Bob Hawes, CEO Business Hunter 

“The Government's announcement is a major step in helping the economy achieve net zero whilst ramping up industrial output in new and existing industries. We know there are and will be major opportunities for local businesses and workers in the Hunter to grow clean industry and reduce emissions. We welcome proactive initiatives that encourage Australian made, it's good for regional economies and the Hunter can and is ready to play its part. We look forward to seeing the detail in investment." Location: Newcastle

Also available in the Hunter:

Sam Mella, Senior Project Manager, Beyond Zero Emissions in Newcastle,

Sam Mella can talk about the Hunter businesses that are already making strides in low emissions options, including wind and hydrogen.

Location: Newcastle

Peter Coughlan, Principal Coughlan Consulting and spokesperson, Hunter Renewal 

Peter is a local businessman and accountant supporting Hunter Renewal, a group that connects  Hunter people, businesses, and organisations to envision a diverse, resilient, and thriving future for the region.

Location: Lake Macquarie, NSW

 

NATIONAL INDUSTRY 

Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Heidi Lee, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions, an independent think tank 

Location: Melbourne

Heidi Lee said: “We’re not starting from zero in terms of manufacturing in Australia - our research shows that we already have Australian companies doing bits and pieces, and we can scale this up and coordinate so we’re making the most of our natural advantages.

“It’s fantastic to see Australia step off the sidelines of the global clean energy race, and set up our communities to capitalise on our critical minerals by manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines with recyclable blades, batteries, heat pumps and parts for electric vehicles.

“Communities in regional Australia stand to benefit from the investment in affordable and reliable clean energy, and modern infrastructure that will link our resource-rich areas to clean industry clusters built around our established ports and smelters. This will see jobs and prosperity flow to places that need it most.

“This is also excellent news for every Australian household, who will see the cost of energy fall as we bring online new renewables at scale, and for local businesses to sell their products into the clean economy” Ms Lee said.

 

Tim Buckley, Director Climate Energy Finance, a non-partisan think tank 

Tim Buckley has more than 30 years’ experience in Australian and international financial markets. Location: Sydney

Tim Buckley said: “Australia can't rely on the traditional notion of free markets in international trade and competition. The US$1 trillion of public subsidises in the US IRA changes everything. China’s breathtaking scale and ambition of investment in manufacturing, technology, domestic deployments and exports  in all zero emissions industries of the future changes everything. 

“The Koreans, Japanese, EU, Indian and Canadian  governments have all responded at scale to the massive once in a century challenge and opportunity of global decarbonisation with huge strategic public funding programs. 

“State intervention is the new competition. We can’t afford to ‘sit it out’. The “Future Made In Australia Act” puts Australia into the global race.

“PM Albanese’s speech announcing the Act is ambitious and visionary. It sets Treasurer Chalmers’ May 2024 budget up for the speed and scale of investment needed to position Australia in the global net zero economy, a definitive start that can be built on over the next 10 years – the critical decade for both addressing the climate challenge and positioning Australia to reap the unprecedented employment, investment, trade and geostrategic benefits of the new economic world order as the globe decarbonises.”

ENDS

 


Contact details:

Jemimah Taylor, Climate Media Centre 0478 924 425 /

jemimah.taylor@climatemediacentre.org.au

 

Jacqui Street, Climate Media Centre 0498 188 528 / jacqui.street@climatemediacentre.org.au

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