The Australian Labor Party’s commitment to rebuilding Australia’s ageing electricity grid to better cope with new energy, investing in clean manufacturing and a stronger 2030 greenhouse gas emissions target will help reindustrialise regional Australia, new energy think tank Beyond Zero Emissions said after the party announced its climate policy today.
“Australia has an abundance of renewable energy resources and we can be a renewable energy superpower if we build the grid to support it,” said Beyond Zero Emissions Head of Policy and Research, Tom Quinn.
“Australia also has the raw materials and the skilled workforce to produce the products that will power the future – green steel, green aluminium, renewable hydrogen and ammonia, critical minerals and batteries.
“The commitment by the ALP to invest up to $3 billion in clean manufacturing and green technology will send a positive message to industry and help attract additional private sector investment, but more is needed. We would like to see 60 per cent of the National Reconstruction Fund committed to this important area, up from the current 20 per cent commitment.
“Australia can become an export powerhouse. Our research has shown that Australia could grow a new green export market worth $333 billion a year by 2050 – almost triple the value of our current fossil fuel exports.
“To cash in on this bonanza, we have been calling for the establishment of Renewable Energy Industrial Precincts in our industrial heartlands. We welcome the $20 billion commitment of investment for grid upgrades.
“We also need ambitious clean export targets and to slash emissions this decade before our trading partners’ carbon tariffs impact our exports and investment. The regions can’t wait until 2050, and industry is already moving. We are in a global race. If regional Australia is going to benefit we need to ‘Go for Gold’ and invest heavily in the clean commodity sector. It’s good for jobs, good for the regions and good for Australia.”