Labor’s $14 million plan to make the Hunter a national renewable energy hub

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NSW Labor has today announced a $14 million plan to place Newcastle and the Hunter at the centre of Australia’s renewable energy industry. 

Under the plan, Labor will provide:

  • $10 million over five years to the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) at the University of Newcastle, allowing it to lead the country in energy storage;

  • $2 million over three years to establish a Hunter Clean Tech Innovation Taskforce; and

  • $2 million over four years for Hunter TAFE to build its clean tech training capacity ensuring the Hunter has workers with the skills we need to build the renewable energy sector and other clean tech industries.

    Shadow Minister for Environment & Climate Change Luke Foley said: “This plan will ensure the Hunter captures the new jobs and the millions of investment dollars on offer as the global economy shifts to a low carbon future.

    “With a growing population of nearly 1 million people, the region is perfectly placed to build new industries and become a national hub of the clean technology industry.

    “The Hunter region has all the ingredients to be a national hub of renewable energy: world-class educational institutions, a highly skilled manufacturing sector, and long experience in commercialising innovation.

    Shadow Minister for Energy Adam Searle said, “Storage is the next frontier in Australia’s energy future.”

    “Cheap and reliable energy storage will allow households to increase their independence from the big power companies, while for industry it will be a game-changer: it will make renewable energy available regardless of whether the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.

    “The Hunter Clean Tech Innovation Taskforce will be a unifying force, bringing together private enterprise and knowledge providers to boost innovation and grow jobs in clean tech industries.

    Labor Candidate for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp said: “This is precisely the forward-looking agenda we need with more than 15,000 jobs leaving the Hunter over the past year.”

    “New, clean technology demands workers with new skills. Labor’s $2 million funding injection will allow Hunter TAFE to expand its capacity to train a highly skilled clean tech workforce. This funding will enable workers to upgrade their skills and allow them to capitalise on the opportunities created by new technologies and shifting consumer demand.” 

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