Published Thursday, 10 June, 2021 at 03:12 PM

Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

My government is committed to Queensland becoming a renewables, hydrogen, and manufacturing superpower because that means more full-time jobs across more regions. So we will expand our $500 million Queensland Renewable Energy Fund into a $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.

When it comes to the fundamentals for becoming a renewables, hydrogen and manufacturing superpower Queensland has it all.

Queensland has:

- Sunshine and wind resources above the ground;

- Critical economy minerals below the ground;

- A highly skilled workforce across regional centres;

- The infrastructure, ports and industrial land delivered because of our coal and LNG export sectors; and

- Established trade partners.

You can call me biased but I don’t just back Queensland on the State of Origin.

I truly believe that there is no other place in the world as well positioned as Queensland to lead on hydrogen, critical energy minerals and renewables manufacturing.

My Government backs renewables and hydrogen, and we have a world first Minister and Assistant Minister for Hydrogen.

And we have a dedicated Minister for Resources as the local Member.

As Dr Alan Finkel has recognised my government acted early delivering our Queensland Hydrogen Industry Strategy ahead of the National Hydrogen Roadmap. 

To ensure that we have the hydrogen skills needed my government is investing in:

- A Hydrogen and Renewable Energy Training facility in Townsville;

- Hydrogen training facilities at Gladstone State High School; and

- A Queensland Apprenticeships Centre at Beenleigh to deliver training for renewable hydrogen.

Already our investment in hydrogen has supported projects to:

- Inject hydrogen into the gas network in Gladstone;

- Deliver hydrogen refuelling stations; and

- Support work underway to decarbonise minerals processing at Sun Metals right here in Townsville.


Sun Metals has been a global leader building a 124-megawatt solar farm next to their zinc refinery in 2018.

Later that year I travelled to Korea to meet with Korea Zinc to secure support for the $455 million expansion of the Sun Metals zinc refinery.

That expansion was recently completed without any delays due to COVID.

Sun Metals is the first refinery globally to sign up to the RE100 initiative to power the zinc refinery with 100 per cent renewable energy by 2040.

Ark Energy is now working with Sun Metals to be the first refinery in the world to produce green zinc.

My government’s investment in hydrogen is supporting the work of Ark Energy on the SunHQ Hydrogen Hub to spearhead the hydrogen strategy at the Sun Metals refinery.

I’m looking forward to saying more about this project soon.


Under my government we have taken renewable energy generation from 7 per cent to over 20 per cent.
That’s meant investment in
- over 5,100 megawatts of renewable generation;
- across more than forty wind and solar farms with;
- $9.9 billion of investment; and
- Supporting 7,000 jobs during construction.

Large scale renewable generation in Queensland is now offsetting 12.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year.

This builds on Queensland’s strong and stable energy mix including the youngest and most efficient fleet of coal and gas fired generators.

And I often say that Queensland is the energy powerhouse of the nation.

We have our coal, we have gas, and we have renewables but today is a very significant announcement in how we get to that 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

And in the absence of a defined energy plan by the Federal Government I have commissioned Minister Mick de Brenni to be working with other key Cabinet ministers to develop a 10-year energy plan for Queensland.

We will step up where the Federal Government has stepped out.

When I addressed CEDA in August last year I announced a $145 million investment in renewable energy corridors.

Last month that commitment supported the 157 megawatt Kaban wind farm in North Queensland to reach financial close with $373 million of investment and 250 local construction jobs.

And last week the tender was awarded for the transmission line to the Genex Kidston Clean Energy project - thanks to a $147 million investment from my government. In total the project will support 900 construction jobs and 250 megawatts of pumped hydro.


We need to build on this record and act now to ensure Queensland secures the global investment underway in renewables. 

The Biden Administration in the United States has committed US $174 billion to accelerate supply chains for electric vehicles and issued an Executive Order to secure supply chains for critical minerals.

That means more opportunities for Queensland to secure investment in our North West Minerals Province that has over half a trillion in known resources.

Demand for electric vehicles in the United States is already supporting rapid growth in local electric vehicle charging manufacturer Tritium - a company my Government backed to grow in 2016.

The rise in demand for electric vehicles will require more gigafactories or large-scale manufacturing to deliver electric vehicle batteries.

According to the International Energy Agency the demand for renewables will contribute to the need for almost 20 gigafactories a year to be built each year for the next ten years.

In meetings with our major trading partners including Japan, South Korea and Germany they have all advised that Queensland will be a key source of renewable hydrogen. 


That’s why we have further projects in development to capitalise on these global growth opportunities.


These include our implementation agreement with CopperString 2.0 to build a 1,100-kilometre transmission line to connect the North West Minerals Province to the National Electricity Market.

CopperString 2.0 would provide more affordable energy to projects under development including Walford Creek to mine cobalt, for the Copper Mountain mine project and to continue mining zinc at Dugald River.  

The CopperString 2.0 project could provide a connection for the proposed one-gigawatt Mount James wind farm.

The area around Julia Creek has a number of vanadium projects under development including Multicom’s Saint Elmo project and Vecco Group’s proposed Debella mine. These projects would benefit from lower cost energy by making it more affordable to co-locate common user infrastructure for minerals processing.

We want to work with these companies and other vanadium proponents to support a critical minerals demonstration plant in Townsville so that we can secure the manufacturing of vanadium batteries in Queensland.

My government backs the development of the North West Minerals Province to provide the critical energy minerals the world needs because that means more jobs in North Queensland.

Earlier this week Queensland Pacific Metals finalised an offtake agreement with Korean companies LG Energy Solutions and POSCO for a Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub.

The Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub will manufacture the nickel sulfate and cobalt sulfate needed for electric vehicles at the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.

This follows my government’s $12 million commitment at the election to support infrastructure to develop the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.

The opportunities in the Townsville region don’t stop there with the Origin and Kawasaki Heavy Industries proposal to export liquified hydrogen.

We have the unique opportunity to support a clean energy industrial ecosystem from the North West Minerals Province through to Townsville.

These opportunities to grow jobs extend across Queensland.


In Central Queensland, Government Owned Corporation Stanwell and Gladstone Ports Corporation are working with Iwatani Corporation of Japan to develop a significant green ammonia hydrogen export project.

On Tuesday the Deputy Premier announced that a land site west of Gladstone has been secured for the proposed 3-gigawatt hydrogen export facility that could support 5,000 jobs.

And we are seeing further exciting opportunities for renewables manufacturing in Gladstone.


Further south we have supported the development of the 1,026 megawatt MacIntyre Wind Farm project which will be one of the largest onshore wind farms in the world and there’s more to come in the region.


Today I am proud to announce how we will accelerate development further by investing in productive infrastructure.

My government will expand our $500 million Queensland Renewable Energy Fund into a $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.

This will take our total Jobs Fund investment to $3.34 billion.

The Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs fund will:

- Support our government owned businesses to expand ownership of renewable energy generation and storage to deliver on our 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030;

- Fund projects to develop our hydrogen industry so that we can reduce emissions in the transport sector and export our sunshine and wind energy to the world; and

- Require that the expansion of publicly owned renewable energy drives local manufacturing jobs.

That means not just mining the minerals for batteries and renewables in Queensland - it means processing the minerals and making batteries and renewables here as well.

I want to see hydrogen electrolysers built locally and local assembly of wind turbines and solar panels because that means local jobs.

By owning our power assets and ensuring we maintain a majority ownership share of generation, we will ensure that returns come back to Queenslanders rather than going offshore.

Not only does the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs fund make sense for the environment, but it also makes economic sense by creating sustainable full-time manufacturing jobs.

This fund will support a self-reinforcing cycle of investment - a job-generating clean energy industrial ecosystem.

Investment in local manufacturing of renewables and hydrogen delivers lower cost energy and frees up gas as an industrial input for manufacturing.

Lower input costs make Queensland manufacturing more internationally competitive.

A more competitive manufacturing sector in turn leads to growth in manufacturing and increased demand for energy.

That demand for energy then drives more renewables manufacturing that will further the cycle of lifting international competitiveness.

All of which will require more critical minerals mining and processing and support a supply chain for hydrogen exports.

In Queensland we have the cobalt, copper, scandium and nickel needed for electric vehicles.

We have the vanadium resources and high purity alumina to build renewable batteries.

We have the bauxite and aluminium smelting needed for the frames for solar panels and the high purity quartz needed for solar PV.

We have the ingredients for titanium needed in hydrogen electrolysers.

And we have the solar and wind energy to process and manufacture our minerals.

Growing our resources sector is no longer just about what’s below the ground - it’s now about harnessing the solar and wind above the ground and manufacturing renewables locally.

More investors around the world want to buy products made with lower or net zero emissions. In Queensland we can deliver manufacturing powered by renewables.

The Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund will ensure that more returns stay onshore and that more Queenslanders share in the jobs from global growth in renewables.

It will support the private sector to grow and be more internationally competitive.

As more products are made from renewable energy globally Queensland will become one of the most attractive destinations for investment.

I look forward to working with you all to develop Queensland into a renewables, hydrogen, and manufacturing superpower.

To working with you to create more full-time, secure manufacturing jobs across Queensland.

By working together, we will ensure that Queensland’s best days are ahead of us.

Thank you.