Labor has announced $16 million for a new facility at the University of Newcastle, for research into hydrogen and other renewable energy industries in the Hunter.
It’s hoped, the proposed Energy Skills Hub will foster stronger relationships between research and industry, and help small businesses get access to world-leading developments and advances.
Investment in cleaner energy options is also considered central for the region’s transition, both in developing new jobs and maintaining low energy prices.
Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon says it’s a logical next step for the Hunter.
“We, of course, come from a region with a highly-skilled workforce, terrific research and development on an industrial scale, and we have an abundance of resources in this region,” Ms Claydon said.
“We are really poised to play a lead role for Australia to become a renewable energy superpower.”
It comes just a day after the Prime Minister announced the Federal Government’s own commitment to a $50 million partnership with the University of Newcastle and the University of New South Wales, exploring new technology options in tandem with local industry partners.
Labor maintains, however, the Coalition has an unclear line when it comes to renewable energy, especially hydrogen.
The University has also welcomed the collaboration with a possible Albanese Government, with hopes it will be a boost both to the region’s workforce and to research staff.
Shortland MP Pat Conroy says the Hunter has powered the country for a century, and he’d like to see it stay that way.
“We are desperately keen for the Hunter to continue to expand in that role,” Mr Conroy said.
“Whether it’s green steel, having Newcastle as a steel city again, whether it’s exporting hydrogen or green ammonia, all other exciting technologies.
“These are good-paying, secure jobs that Labor has a vision to secure for our region.”