Wednesday, 7 September 2022
Statements by Senators
Western Australia: Resources Industry
It's well known that Western Australia is blessed with an abundance of natural resources—iron ore, oil and gas in particular—and the Western Australian mining sector has benefited Australia's economy for decades. Western Australia is being presented with new opportunities and has the potential to take part in an industry that is gaining global momentum. I speak of hydrogen.
Recently I met with the team at the Dampier to Bunbury pipeline. The Dampier to Bunbury pipeline stretches 1,539 kilometres and pipes 845 terajoules of natural gas each day, from which natural gas fuels approximately 50 per cent of WA's energy needs. With changing energy demands globally, AGIG, the operator of the pipeline, are working on a plan to start blending hydrogen with natural gas. They aim to have a 10 per cent hydrogen and natural gas blend by 2030. This is the first step towards adapting our current gas infrastructure to carry only hydrogen by 2040.
Even more exciting is that, with the production of hydrogen in northern WA and the infrastructure to move it, we open up opportunities to export hydrogen to global energy markets. This is about seizing market opportunities. It's not some woke pursuit of ideology and reckless abandonment of reliable low-cost energy. We must continue to invest in traditional energy sources while exploiting every opportunity to establish new markets with new sources of energy. So I look forward to working with Western Australian companies and industry to explore the opportunities that hydrogen can bring, whilst also supporting those traditional businesses that need to continue to export their resources so that we can bring energy not only to Australia but indeed to the world.