PM promises cash for resources sector

AUSTRALIAN prime minister Scott Morrison was in Perth today to announce more than A$250 million for the resources sector if the Liberal Party wins the federal election on May 21.
PM promises cash for resources sector PM promises cash for resources sector PM promises cash for resources sector PM promises cash for resources sector PM promises cash for resources sector

Scott Morrison

The largest chunk of funding will go towards the energy sector.

Two new hydrogen hubs will be created in Kwinana and the Pilbara, at a cost of $140 million, with a further $6 million to be spent investigation another two development projects.

A further $67 million will be spent on developing two carbon capture and storage hubs and support the appraisal of a third potential storage site in WA.

Morrison also announced $8 million in funding for two critical minerals projects.

Global Advanced Metals will receive $4 million for a tantalum and tin recovery plant at Greenbushes, while Mineral Commodities will receive $3.94 million to develop an Australian integrated graphite ore-to-battery anodes business in Munglinup.

"Securing Western Australia's economy is absolutely critical to locking in stronger future for Australia and 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.

"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.

"These investments will also turbocharge the development of Australia's critical minerals and clean hydrogen industries, helping achieve the government's vision to make Australia a global producer and exporter of clean hydrogen by 2030, while stimulating a surge in regions across WA."

The PM also announced a $50 million investment to create a new business and research partnership with WA's Curtin University, focusing on the critical mineral supply chain, the first project under the government's Trailblazer program.

Curtin University will partner with The University of Queensland and James Cook University, and 33 company partners across Australia involved in value chains requiring lithium, nickel, cobalt, vanadium and hydrogen resources.

"The mission of the collaboration is to conduct and translate the research needed to link the value chains so desperately needed if Australia is to become a genuine international leader in efficient production of critical minerals, precursors and ultimately, metals," Curtin deputy vice-chancellor research Professor Chris Moran said.

"In doing so, Trailblazer will add significant value, resilience, and sovereign capability throughout Australia's critical minerals and hydrogen energy value chains. It will deliver the skills and the future workforce required to realise the potential benefits from our resources."

The announcements were welcomed by industry groups the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.

"WA's mining and resources sector is truly world-leading and it's great to see that reflected in initiatives the federal government has identified it will embark on if re-elected. The plan underlines the significant contribution - or ‘chain' as the Reserve Bank governor refers to it - that directly links our sector's export output and the nation's economic prosperity," CME director of policy and advocacy Rob Carruthers said.

"Foremostly, the mining and resources industry welcomes the prime minister's commitment to no new mining or carbon taxes, and stability of fuel tax arrangements, under a re-elected Coalition government."

AMEC CEO Warren Pearce called on the Labor Party to outline its plans.

"Our industry continues to seek bi-partisan commitments for supporting the continued strength and growth of Australia's resources sector," he said.

"This means no new taxes and a commitment to stable policy and regulatory settings. Both are essential to ensure Australia remains a highly attractive destination for investment.

"The federal Coalition have outlined a clear and substantive plan to further develop our resources sector and attract new investment into Australia, backed by significant commitments.

"Federal Labor now needs to outline its broader plan for the Australian resources sector, and further articulate what they will do to grow Australia's critical minerals industry."