New bodies to guide Qld, NSW on renewables

NSW’s first Renewable Energy Sector Board will work to boost local procurement and jobs as the state shifts toward renewables.

Matt Kean

Energy minister Matt Kean unveiled the board on Tuesday, describing it as an opportunity to secure economic a for local renewable industries in line with the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap.

“We have bought all the key players to the table to make sure we don’t miss any opportunities to support local jobs and industry as we modernise the State’s energy infrastructure over the coming decades,” he said in a statement.

The Board will focus on material sourcing and contracting arrangements, with an eye to giving NSW manufacturers, particularly those in the regions, a competitive edge.

It will be jointly chaired by Daniel Walton from the Australian Workers’ Union and Craig Memery from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, and brings together 12 representatives from across the sector including manufacturers and clean energy groups.

Mr Walton says the board will focus on creating new jobs and maximising the use of locally produced and supplied goods.

“These new policies should drive genuine accountability and replace the ‘tick and flick’ culture of procurement which has favoured overseas suppliers in recent decades,” Mr Walton said.

The Board will provide its first report to the Minister by the end of March 2021.

Ministerial energy council in Queensland

Also this week, the Queensland government announced it is establishing a ministerial energy council to work with government on delivering the state’s future energy needs, including the role of renewables and hydrogen.

“This decade will herald a significant adjustment in the way energy is produced, distributed and stored, Energy Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni said.

He said a range of industry groups will have a seat at the table as well as the Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Energy Council.

A discussion about establishing a hydrogen supply chain in Queensland would top the agenda, he said.

Queensland’s publicly owned generation and supply chain assets provided a strong foundation to move forward, Mr de Brenni said.

“By establishing a Ministerial Energy Council, our government can leverage our foundational assets as a basis from which to harness the additional capacity of renewables to deliver real outcomes for Queenslanders.”

He said renewable energy and transmission, manufacturing, resources and electrifying transport had the capacity to create 570,000 Australian jobs in the next five years.

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