Cleaner, greener jobs future under Mark McGowan and WA Labor

Posted on February 17, 2021
  • $259 million package to spark a renewable manufacturing revolution in WA
  • Plan to create hundreds of manufacturing and green jobs
  • 1,000 standalone power systems to be manufactured and installed
  • $10 million towards the manufacturing of wind turbines in Western Australia
  • E-waste to be banned in move to create new jobs and prevent thousands of kilos of high value material from going to landfill each year

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will drive a revolution in renewable energy manufacturing under a plan that will create hundreds of 21st century green jobs in WA.

As part of the responsible, affordable and achievable package, a re-elected McGowan Labor Government will use the strengths of WA’s existing industries to diversify the economy, with new and sustainable job creating industries.

Standalone Power Systems Manufacturing in WA

The package features a $218 million investment to manufacture and install more than 1,000 standalone power systems in regional WA over the next five years.

The systems will be installed across the regions and in remote Aboriginal communities, to reduce the reliance on diesel, stabilise networks, and support local jobs.

The McGowan Labor Government is delivering Australia’s first renewable hydrogen microgrid at Denham, an example of the integration of standalone power systems in regional areas.

Horizon Power and Western Power will deliver the program, which will be declared a Strategic Project under the WA Jobs Act to ensure local manufacturers are part of the project.

The commitment of more than 1,000 standalone power systems will create a baseline demand for locally manufactured power systems, including solar panels, batteries and hydrogen electrolysers – driving hundreds of local manufacturing jobs and putting WA at the forefront of high-tech industries.

A small energy industry development team will also be established to work with local renewable energy  manufacturers and the mining industry to accelerate the transition to renewables on remote mine sites.

Wind Turbine Manufacturing

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will invest $10 million to support the development of a WA wind turbine manufacturing industry, building on plans detailed as part of the WA Recovery Plan.

This will include project ready industrial land for local manufacturers and a supply chain study to identify manufacturing opportunities for local industry and appropriate industrial land for wind blade laydown areas.

A significant boost will be gained by the Government declaring any future wind farm projects undertaken by government trading enterprises to be a Strategic Project under the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017, to support local manufacturing.

Ban e-waste and create new recycling jobs

E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams and presents potential risks to human health and the environment if not disposed of properly. It can be repurposed for use in new batteries, electronics, homewares and more.

E-waste will be banned from going to landfill by 2024, following consultation with the community and industry to ensure a smooth transition.

$14 million will be committed towards the development of an e-waste recycling plant suitable for processing Western Australia’s waste, supporting local governments and other groups to enhance their capacity to receive e-waste from households and businesses, and educating the community for the transition. This will increase the recovery and recycling of high value material while supporting local jobs and businesses.

This builds on our successful container deposit scheme Containers for Change, which has created more than 600 new jobs, and recent funding of $35 million towards WA projects worth over $135 million that will process plastics, tyres, paper and cardboard, creating 260 jobs.

Carbon Innovation Grants

The McGowan Government has delivered substantial achievements to enable the take up of carbon sequestration in Western Australia, including allowing carbon farming on pastoral leases, establishing the $15 million Land Restoration and Carbon Farming program, investing $15 million into the Native Vegetation Rehabilitation Scheme, and opening up carbon sequestration projects in National Parks and on the conservation estate to maximise environmental and economic benefits.

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will complement our Carbon Farming Strategy by delivering a $15 million Carbon Innovation Grants program to fund research and innovative trials to increase Western Australian carbon sequestration, capture, utilisation and storage.

Green Steel

Western Australia’s iron ore industry is a major contributor to the State’s economy. However, we need to look to the future and create long term jobs, do further processing here, and improve the sustainability of the iron ore industry.

A re-elected McGowan Government will provide $1 million to fund research into the viability of local environmentally sustainable processing of Western Australian iron ore to create green steel, or the inputs necessary for green steel.

A McGowan Government will partner with research institutes and the mining industry to develop the first stages of the green steel industry in Western Australia to create jobs that are sustainable, long-term and use renewable energy.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan

“These sensible and practical initiatives will help our State become greener and cleaner, while creating jobs for Western Australians.

“This is another important step in our plan to invest in a low carbon future while creating job opportunities, developing new industries and working with all sectors to achieve net zero emissions for WA by 2050. 

“We are using the strengths of our existing industries to diversify the economy into new and sustainable job creating industries, in a responsible, achievable and affordable way.

“To support our renewables future, my Government has enabled TAFE to deliver the courses required for the future skills needed in the renewable energy and hydrogen sectors, and made it cheaper to obtain a qualification.

“It is all part of the WA Labor plan to keep Western Australians safe and strong into the future.”

The McGowan Labor Government has already invested more than $28 million to kickstart a renewable hydrogen industry in WA, including:

  • ●     $5.7 million to an Australia-first renewable energy microgrid in the Gascoyne town of Denham, using a new solar power system to produce hydrogen from water;
  • ●     $2 million for FMG H2’s renewable hydrogen mobility project in the Pilbara;
  • ●     $1 million towards ATCO’s hydrogen refueller project in Jandakot;
  • ●     $5 million boost to the Renewable Hydrogen Fund, taking total funding available to $15 million, for grants to support industry development;
  • ●     $3 million for a regulatory reform package to undertake and support a local hydrogen industry;
  • ●     $2.7 million to expand the Renewable Hydrogen Unit in the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation;
  • ●     $1 million towards identifying locations suitable for hydrogen storage;
  • ●     $1 million towards developing a detailed supply chain model that promotes hydrogen and identifies bottlenecks and limitations affecting the hydrogen export industry; and
  • ●     $600,000 to study blending hydrogen in the WA gas network and related technical, economic and regulatory implications.