Media Release

31 August 2018

Southwick: Liberal Nationals working group to unlock Victoria’s brown coal potential

Friday 31 August 2018

Liberal Nationals working group to unlock Victoria’s brown coal potential

Today at Federation University Gippsland, over 25 industry, university and community groups, including the Minerals Council of Australia, Industry Capability Network and Committee for Gippsland met to discuss the future uses and commercialisation opportunities for the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal industry.

Brown coal has powered the Latrobe Valley’s economy for generations and plays a key role in delivering affordable, reliable power for Victorian industry and households. However, future developments of carbon resources are under threat by the Andrews Labor Government, who continue to demonise the brown coal industry and have put ideology ahead of opportunity in the Latrobe Valley.

At today’s meeting Victoria’s Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, David Southwick MP appointed Melina Bath MP, Member for Eastern Victoria Region to chair a working group, which has been tasked with investigating brown coal commercialisation opportunities and future uses and report back by the end of September.

The group heard from Federal Minister for Resources, Senator the Hon Matt Canavan, who outlined the Commonwealth Government’s support for further development and innovation in Victoria’s carbon industry which will secure jobs and deliver economic growth for the Latrobe Valley.

The working group will explore projects similar to the Kawasaki led coal to hydrogen trial. This innovation proposal aims to transform brown coal from the Latrobe Valley into clean hydrogen for export and use in Japan and will deliver up to 400 jobs for the local community and transform the way region’s brown coal resources can be utilised.

Key industry participant, Minerals Council of Australia’s Director Megan Davison stated “This broad-based working group brings together key stakeholders of the brown coal industry in the Latrobe Valley and will help drive future commercialisation and innovation of this important resource.”

It is expected that the working group’s report will form the basis of a Liberal Nationals Coalition policy for an industry led commercialisation approach to future uses of the Latrobe Valley’s brown coal resources.

Only the Victorian Coalition will get the ideology out of energy and bring together a strong commercialisation focused working group industry, university and community to unlock Victoria’s future brown coal potential and keep Victoria at the forefront of energy innovation in Australia.