Prime Minister Scott Morrison Backs Manufacturing In Hunter

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Energy Renaissance Managing Director Mark Chilcote. Photo by Marian Sampson.


PRIME Minister Scott Morrison returned to Port Stephens in the Hunter making this his third visit to the region in recent times.

The Prime Minister took the time to visit Energy Renaissance’s new site at Tomago where a $28 million plant is about to be built.

Once operational the facility will produce lithium batteries.

Energy Renaissance has been working in partnership with the University of Newcastle and the CSIRO on the development of the technology which will be used at the plant.

The facility is expected to be completed in October of 2021.

During the visit the Prime Minister launched the Federal Government’s resource roadmap.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison told News Of The Area, “In the Hunter, they’re building the future; on this site with lithium-ion batteries.

“When I think of all the regions of our country, it’s very hard to consider a region that will benefit more from the economic policies we’re putting in place than the Hunter.”

For some time now, the Australian government has been working internationally through partnerships, on ways that Australia can be a part of the supply chains for critical minerals and rare earths.

“It has been a keen topic of our national-level discussions.

“It is a sovereign and strategic priority for Australia to ensure that we are hard-wired into this supply chain around the world.

“Because these rare earths and critical minerals are what literally pulls together the technology that we will be relying on into the future,” said the Prime Minister.

Karen Andrews Minister for Industry, Science and Technology said, “What we have determined are that there are some priorities for manufacturing here in Australia where we have comparative or competitive strengths.

“Today is the opening of funding for resources technology and critical minerals processing.”

She announced two streams of funding; one which funds the commercialisation of good ideas and the other supports businesses to enter international supply chains.

“In terms of resources technology and, specifically, critical minerals, Australia has a very long history of being a resource-rich nation where we have done extraordinarily well at digging that product out of the ground.

“The path that has been missed is the value-add.

“So, whilst we are very good at digging the product out of the ground, we ship it overseas, it’s processed overseas in many instances, and we pay an extraordinary amount of money to purchase that material back in a different form, here in Australia.

“As a government, we want to change that. We want to do more of the value-add here in Australia.

“Resources technology is an area where we are already world-leading, but there are significant opportunities for us to expand that even more.

“ “We have incredible stores of lithium.

“At the moment, we aren’t processing that to any great extent here in Australia.

“But we want to make sure that, through our critical minerals processing roadmap, that we are setting a pathway where Australia can recover the maximum amount of lithium, and that we can then look at how we can value-add to that and, specifically, looking at how we can build the battery industry right here in Australia.




Prime Minister Scott Morrison with the Lithium batteries. Photo by Marian Sampson.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the Energy Renaissance Site at Tomago with Energy Renaissance Managing Director Mark Chilcote viewing the plans for the plant. Photo by Marian Sampson.

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