17/02/2021 - 12:43

WA Labor unveils $259m renewables plan

17/02/2021 - 12:43

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WA Labor has promised $259 million for renewable manufacturing, including for 1,000 standalone power systems, while hitting back at LG's support of the Liberal energy plan.

WA Labor unveils $259m renewables plan
Mark McGowan announced the renewables plan, which would involve the construction of 1,000 stand alone power systems across regional WA.

The WA Labor Party has unveiled its $259 million plan to revolutionise renewable energy manufacturing, the bulk of which will be spent installing 1,000 standalone power systems across Western Australia.

Premier Mark McGowan said a re-elected Labor government's renewable manufacturing policy would invest $218 million in the implementation of standalone power systems across regional areas over the next four years to support the state's energy network.

The party would also provide $15 million in carbon innovation grants, allocate $10 million towards wind turbine manufacturing, and ban e-waste from going to landfill by 2024.

Mr McGowan said the plan would seek to maximise manufacturing opportunities and support energy generation through solar and wind, in an affordable way.

“This is about embracing renewable power and doing so in a responsible, sustainable, and achievable way," he said.

"This is not a wild commitment; this is costed and will make a significant difference.

“This is something that can actually be implemented, and Aboriginal communities and regional towns will be the beneficiaries."

Energy Minister Bill Johnston rejected assertions that the Liberal Party WA's ambitious energy jobs plan may have forced Labor's hand on renewables, saying the election commitment was simply a continuation and extension of the work the state government had been doing over its past four years in government.

The plan, announced by the Liberals last week, has since received the support of LG Chem managing director Changhwan Choi, who wrote to opposition leader Zak Kirkup and expressed interest in helping with its implementation.

But Mr Johnston hit back, saying handing billions of dollars worth of taxpayers' money away to multinational companies did not make it a sensible plan, or one that the company had officially endorsed. 

The funding forms part of the WA Jobs Act program, passed in 2018, which set out the state government's commitment to ensure the $27 billion is spent annually on state government procurement, maximising opportunities for local businesses and creating more jobs for Western Australians.

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