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Australian Government’s decade-long commitment to green hydrogen industry to drive massive employment boom

14 May 2024

Australian Government’s decade-long commitment to green hydrogen industry to drive massive employment boom

Comments attributable to Fortescue’s Executive Chairman, Dr Andrew Forrest AO:

“Fortescue believes the multiplier impact of the Hydrogen Production Tax Credit will make the subsidy fractional.

“It is crucial to getting green hydrogen projects off the ground fast and at a scale to build a major domestic industry and market. If kept simple and quickly implementable by industry, it will trigger full employment and decades of income growth for Australian workers. 

“It will also lower the cost of energy for every single Australian by making green hydrogen competitive with fossil fuels, spurring massive renewable energy projects in sparsely populated regions where employment is needed most.

“Prime Minister Albanese and his Government had a one-shot-in-the-barrel opportunity to ensure Australia fulfilled its potential to become the Saudi Arabia of energy production. Through the $2 per kilo tax credit for green hydrogen production, the Government has seized this opportunity for the Australian people.

“Green hydrogen, green ammonia and green iron will create economic opportunities of historical scale into the long-term and help lower power prices permanently.

“Once Australia was considered as riding on the sheep’s back. Then the resources sector kept the steel in Australia’s economic spine. Kept simple, this incentive will give much greater and longer-term benefits to our economy.

“The Government has sent a clear message – business-as-usual for the fossil fuel monopoly driving up the cost of living and trashing our environment is over.

“Of course, the fossil fuel sector which, relative to the rest of us in heavy industry, is not a big employer yet are expert at shifting income around so they don’t pay fair taxes in Australia, will use their profits to try to complicate this legislation to make it unworkable.

“The Government should be fully prepared for this lobbying effort, one which will attempt to stop a cheaper competitor for fossil fuels being made right here in Australia, taxed right here in Australia, and enjoyed by Australian mums and dads and job seekers.  

“This is a historic moment that, if introduced quickly, will spur the establishment of new green industries such as green hydrogen, green ammonia and green iron, creating tens of thousands of new jobs for Australians directly, hundreds of thousands of new jobs indirectly right across Australia, whilst cutting our emissions.

“This incentive will fast-track the development of a green iron industry in Australia, bringing massive employment opportunities back to our country, value adding right here in Australia and slashing steel production’s debilitating global emissions.

“Fortescue is already trialling its decarbonisation green hydrogen technology at its major Chichester operations, one of the largest iron ore producers in the world. Fortescue looks forward to working with Government to imminently scale up the technology and innovation embedded in our Christmas Creek Green Iron Plant, which we took a Final Investment Decision on last November.

“Fortescue believes that commercial production of green iron in Australia is now possible and must be pursued.”