Certainty welcomed for new gas, minerals

·3-min read

Australian companies will get more taxpayer support to take their place in the world's new energy and high-tech economy if the Morrison government is re-elected.

Federal subsidies to reinvent fossil fuels and mine new minerals, announced on the campaign trail on Tuesday, have been welcomed by industry.

Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Deputy chief executive Damian Dwyer said the policy announcement recognises the importance of gas for decades into the future.

"This greater certainty for industry will be critical for Australia's economic recovery and commitment to decarbonise as part of a cleaner energy future," Mr Dwyer told AAP.

As well as bankrolling a new era for fossil fuels, support will go to unlock the critical minerals needed for wind and solar components, pumped hydro widgets, electric vehicle batteries, defence technologies and future high-tech communications.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies welcomed the pledge on no new mining taxes and stable regulations, but wants to see the same from Labor.

"Our industry continues to seek bipartisan commitments for supporting the continued strength and growth of Australia's resources sector," AMEC CEO Warren Pearce said.

Among the winners, up to $40 million has been earmarked for Woodside Energy's Burrup carbon capture and storage and transport project, and up to $20 million will go to Japanese giant Mitsui's Mid West hub.

Oil and gas explorer and developer Buru Energy will get up to $7 million to assess the potential for onshore storage in the Carnarvon Basin.

But Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokeswoman Jess Panegyres said the Morrison government is wasting public money on "fantasy" technology when it should be backing wind, solar and batteries.

"The federal government should be investing in long term energy and employment solutions for our state, rather than funding technology designed to prolong the life of polluting fossil fuel projects," she said.

Under a national strategy, Australian hydrogen production for export and domestic use is tipped to generate more than $50 billion in additional GDP by 2050 and cut emissions.

Up to $70 million each will go to BP Australia's $250 million-plus H2Kwinana hydrogen hub and the state government's Pilbara hydrogen hub.

Two early stage projects will get grants of up to $3 million - Engie Hydrogen's green hydrogen hub in the Pilbara and Santos' Carnarvon hydrogen engineering design work.

Fortescue Future Industries, which has several green hydrogen projects underway, welcomed the federal support for green hydrogen.

"Green hydrogen, ammonia and electricity are the world's only avenues to stop the planet cooking by 2050," a spokeswoman told AAP.

Western Australia's Curtin University, the University of Queensland and James Cook University will build a new research partnership across the critical mineral supply chain.

Industry partners have promised $144 million in co-investment, matching $50 million in public funding more than two to one.

These projects follow a $1.25 billion federal loan to Iluka Resources, to develop Australia's first integrated rare earths refinery at Eneabba in Western Australia.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting