Sod turning marks $20 million investment in future hydrogen workforce

Published Thursday, 11 February, 2021 at 01:30 PM


Treasurer and Minister for Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer

Queensland has taken another step towards ensuring Australia emerges as a global hydrogen superpower.

The sod has been turned to mark the start of construction of the Palaszczuk Government’s $20 million Hydrogen Training Centre of Excellence at Beenleigh.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said the new facility is a key part of the government’s plan to fast track the development of the industry and ensure Queensland is at the forefront as the supplier of choice for hydrogen.

“Our Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy 2019 - 2024 is focussed on developing the hydrogen industry to create jobs and is a vital part of our plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs,” the Treasurer said.

“By 2030, it is estimated the Queensland hydrogen industry could be worth about $1.7 billion a year in exports, providing jobs throughout the state.

“Investing in state-of-the-art training facilities will attract new workers to the industry as well as meet projected demand from existing apprentices and tradespeople.”

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said this initiative, one of four training centres worth more than $50 million, would skill up a hydrogen workforce enabling the State’s future economic development.

“Queensland’s opportunity to grow jobs in manufacturing and resources needs cheaper, cleaner energy, and the future demand for hydrogen is being met as the Palaszczuk Government is ensuring Queenslanders have the skills to deliver it,” he said.

“Already, Queensland’s renewables industry is worth $8.5 billion, and with our abundance of solar and wind capacity, Queensland is the ideal candidate to produce hydrogen for domestic and international use.”

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the $20 million centre is an investment in the skills and jobs of the future.

“We need trainees and apprentices to start developing these skills now, so that they are ready to go when these jobs come online. 

“That’s why we are investing now, to deliver the skilled workforce we will need in the future.

“We are working in partnership with the industry not-for-profit organisation, Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC), to build the new facility at the existing training centre by June 2022.

“It will expand training capacity from 600 to 800 apprenticeships per year to train apprentices in fire protection, gas plumbing, carpentry, electrical and plumbing skills.

“The new world-class training facilities will include gas training equipment, lower carbon technology upgrades, roof-access work platforms, special hazards fire systems and state of the art training rooms.”

The project is expected to employ 70 apprentices during construction and support a total of 100 jobs.

“Our hydrogen training investment also includes $10.6 million for a Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training facility at Bohle TAFE campus in Townsville, $2 million to upgrade training facilities at Gladstone State High School to prepare students for jobs in the hydrogen industry and a $17 million grant will allow Electro Group Training to deliver renewable energy skills and training,” Ms Farmer said.

Macalister MP Melissa McMahon said that Logan was the right place to be making this important investment in Queensland jobs.

“This investment adds to the wealth of training and learning opportunities already here in our community.

“Learning a trade sets you up for life and it’s the Palaszczuk Government who is taking this making sure that our kids get a foothold in these industries of the future.”

PICAC is a whole-of-industry collaboration model between the Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union Queensland, the Master Plumbers’ Association of Queensland, the National Fire Industry Association and the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors Association (AMCA).

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Media contacts:

Treasurer Dick’s Office:       Geoff Breusch 0417 272 875

Minister Farmer’s Office:     Lesley Major 0419 288 284

Minister de Brenni’s Office: Rosie Gilbert 0466 834 330