House debates

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Constituency Statements

Paterson Electorate: Energy

4:44 pm

Photo of Meryl SwansonMeryl Swanson (Paterson, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Last week I welcomed Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic, to Energy Renaissance in my electorate of Paterson. Energy Renaissance is committed to creating and making an all-Australian lithium ion battery, from cells to complete battery solutions, to help accelerate Australia's transition to a clean energy superpower.

For many years, the Hunter has been the backbone of the Australian energy sector, and our coal has been the backbone of that energy. As we deliver climate and energy transformation, the Albanese government is turbocharging opportunities for local businesses like Energy Renaissance to be at the frontier of the changing energy landscape in Australia.

I was delighted to join the minister in officially launching the consultation round for the country's first national battery strategy. We've never had such a strategy before, and now we do. And it's going to be integral to helping Australia transition to a decarbonised economy, deliver on our ambitious emissions target, foster Australian innovation and support Australian industry. Our strategy will ensure industry has the confidence to deliver and ensure large-scale uptake and manufacture of batteries that will be vital to transitioning us towards net zero. New battery capacity will help support grid-scale capacity, power our homes and electrify our transport sector.

We know our success relies on companies like Energy Renaissance. Our shared goal is only achievable with the ingenuity of Australian businesses like theirs. Australia's unique domestic access to critical minerals provides substantive opportunities to manufacture lithium ion batteries and presents us with opportunities to export this technology to the world. I just want to commend the Energy Renaissance co-founders—CEO Brian Craighead, Su McCluskey and Julie Frikken. Thank you so much for having the foresight. As Brian said in his fabulous Irish accent to us all the other day, 'It's a little bit like wool—we send the wool to Italy and then we buy the jumpers back.' Well, we want to be able to mine and refine our own lithium, and that's what we're working towards in the Hunter with things like the Australian Battery Strategy. Energy Renaissance is one of the many companies in my electorate who are working towards net zero, working towards keeping the lights on and providing good, well-paying jobs.