WA Liberal Leader Dr David Honey today ridiculed WA Labor’s panic request to the Morrison Federal Government to match the proposed $117.5 million for hydrogen hubs in the Mid-West and Pilbara.
“It’s a desperate, inadequate and belated attempt to act on green hydrogen after driving potential projects both interstate and overseas. Their 11th hour proposal for $235 million joint Federal/State funding for Oakajee and the Pilbara hydrogen hubs shows an embarrassing lack of planning,” said Dr Honey.
“Labor has again failed to secure the opportunity for our State to transition from being a world-leading LNG exporter to become a world–class future clean-energy supplier. It falls woefully short of the funding required, highlighting that Labor Ministers Cook and MacTiernan are totally out of their depth in clean energy planning and exports.
“It is clear they are playing at catch-up and making policy on the run after years of inaction. Currently, Oakajee in the Mid-West is an overgrown paddock and whatever is Labor’s plan for a Hydrogen Hub in the Pilbara is still a pipedream – yet to be detailed in any way at all.
“This paltry funding is totally inadequate. For Oakajee alone, it will not even cover the cost of critically needed infrastructure such as a common-user port and the necessary connecting electricity line from Geraldton.
“Completion of the necessary electricity transmission line from Geraldton to Oakajee, for example, is estimated to cost around $500 million.
“The Mid-West project alone puts into perspective how deficient the infrastructure funding commitment is given the sheer scale of land, roads, water and power required.
“This is further highlighted by the fact that there is no consideration of the essential critical minerals industry that also has been ignored by Labor’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston.
“WA Labor has been asleep at the wheel and continues to fall well behind when it comes to green hydrogen and critical minerals, which has the potential to drive economic growth and the next generation of skilled jobs for Western Australia.
“The Premier said WA has ‘every advantage’ to be a world leader in renewable hydrogen but under his Labor Government, these advantages are being squandered by constant inaction.
“We need a State Government that will take the clean energy potential of WA seriously and actually consider the implications of falling behind in this race.” said Dr Honey.