Nationals’ energy push has benefits for Gippsland

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien has welcomed the latest energy and climate change policies released by The Nationals and Liberals, saying they will give huge opportunities for jobs and economic development in Gippsland.

Mr O’Brien said the establishment of a $1 billion Victorian Hydrogen Strategy to support research, development and adoption of hydrogen technologies offers great opportunities for Gippsland industry.

“We have already seen the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project at Loy Yang conduct a successful trial and open up the prospect of a commercial industry supplying hydrogen to Japan from our brown coal.

“Utilising the proposed CarbonNet project at Golden Beach this could provide clean fuel for the future and help Gippsland further develop its hydrogen energy capabilities – both green and blue – including the skills, technology and infrastructure needed for this emerging industry.

“With offshore wind and onshore solar developments in train there is great opportunity for Gippsland to transition from the coal and natural gas powerhouse that it currently is to the energy supply of the future.

“Equally our policy is about providing certainty for our existing industries.

“We are not in the business of shutting down our baseload reliable, coal generators and our policy sends a signal to the market of consistency and clarity.

“The Nationals are committed to supporting workers and communities in the coal, oil and gas industries which will play a role in our energy needs for some time to come.

“I’m also pleased that within six months of coming to office The Nationals and Liberals will legislate a local gas guarantee for new supply which will ensure that any gas produced here onshore will help power our state and not be sold elsewhere.

“With this Victorian reserve policy we’ll also ensure that landholders have a right of veto on gas development on their land as well as winning a share of royalties from any development that occurs.

“This is a fair and sensible policy that will allow us to capitalise on our strengths.

“I believe Gippsland has a strong future in continuing to power the state and the nation and I’m confident these policies will help us capitalise on the opportunity.”

Mr O’Brien also welcomed further investments in rooftop solar and household battery incentives which will be welcomed by many local residents.

“Labor began its solar programs with a deliberate skew to the major cities meaning many people in regional areas missed out.

“The Nationals and Liberals will improve our solar and battery incentives to help locals to take their own action to shore-up their supplies.”

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