House debates

Tuesday, 17 October 2023


Trade and Investment Growth Joint Committee; Report

4:38 pm

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Adelaide, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On behalf of the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth, I present the committee's report, incorporating dissenting reports, entitled: Australia's trade and investment opportunities in a global green economy.

Report made a parliamentary paper in accordance with standing order 39(e).

by leave—Australia is well on its way to becoming a green energy superpower. The world is changing. Global decarbonisation efforts are having a profoundly transformative effect on the way the world engages in trade and investment.

Australia stands at a unique crossroads, with an opportunity to lead the world in the green energy revolution. Our nation's strengths, like abundant renewable resources and a skilled workforce, put us in a prime position.

In our inquiry we uncovered a multitude of opportunities, particularly in value-added manufacturing, offering economic growth and jobs. The mission of the committee was clear. The Australian government must bolster existing structures, invest in the emerging green industries and streamline regulations. However, this transition is not without its challenges. There were 16 recommendations in our report serving as a road map to strengthen Australia's position in the green economy. What we saw was that we're at the cusp of something great, shaping the future—a future fuelled by a global green economy.

Throughout the inquiry, the committee heard about all the current and emerging opportunities for Australia. We heard about developing new export led industries, driving economic growth and creating jobs—for example, in the extraction and processing of critical minerals and rare earths, in the production of green hydrogen and in manufacturing across the battery value chain.

The committee was particularly impressed by its firsthand experience of the work being done by industry leaders such as Fortescue Future Industries in Perth, Western Australia, which we visited, and Alpha HPA in Gladstone, Queensland. As well as emissions reduction and economic benefits, Australia's green energy superpower transition will ensure greater sovereign manufacturing capability and reduce exposure to global supply chain constraints as well as supporting Australia's interests in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 16 recommendations made in this report focus on ensuring that Australia is positioned to realise its green energy superpower potential. Australia is ready to accelerate opportunities and address challenges, including by leveraging Australia's existing trade and investment architecture to maximise opportunities in the global green economy; supporting value-added manufacturing and export opportunities; developing a national green energy superpower strategy; aligning trade and investment promotions and awareness-building functions with Australia's green energy superpower ambitions; and enhancing sovereign manufacturing capability in industries subject to supply chain constraints.

I thank all the businesses, organisations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that provided written submissions and appeared as witnesses at the public hearings for this inquiry. I would also like to thank the committee secretariat for their work. I thank the deputy chair, the member for Wright. And, of course, I thank fellow committee members for their participation and valuable contributions during this inquiry.

I commend the report to the House.