Gippsland Nationals MPs have strongly backed the development of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project in the Latrobe Valley in the face an illogical Greens campaign against it.
The Nationals Member for Morwell, Martin Cameron said the HESC project was an opportunity to continue the Latrobe Valley’s traditional status as an energy powerhouse for Victoria.
“The project, that will convert brown coal to hydrogen for export and local use, is an opportunity for us to create Latrobe Valley jobs as the energy transition gathers pace.
“We need to utilise our local resources in an environmentally sustainable way and I am confident that the HESC project does that.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien said the opposition to the project by the Greens and environment groups was illogical.
“Green groups are opposed to the use of fossil fuels due to carbon emissions, which is fair enough.
“However, the HESC project will not go ahead without the use of carbon capture and storage which ensures that the carbon dioxide produced in hydrogen production is captured and returned to the ground from where it came.
“Once you factor that into the project, there is no reason to oppose what would effectively be an environmentally friendly project that will help us create jobs, boost exports, and help us set up a hydrogen economy in Gippsland.
“I can see a future where hydrogen is being produced from renewable energy in Gippsland and the HESC project will help us build the skills, infrastructure and technology necessary to develop that sector.”
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said Gippsland had seen enough negative government policy and that this project was an important turning point.
“We’ve seen the Labor Government shutdown the native timber industry, including the white paper mill at Australian Paper and institute energy policy that has hastened the closure of our power stations.
“Provided that the environmental and commercial assessments of this project are ticked off, then there is no political reason the government should not support this project.
“It is time that they stood up to the Greens for once and did something that will help Gippslanders with the energy transition.”