$1.5 billion Labor promise for minerals, zero-emissions infrastructure

Brandon How

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has committed a Labor government to a $1 billion Value-Adding in Resources Fund to support mining science technology capability and increase the share of raw materials processed domestically.

The $1 billion of loans, guarantees and equity will be available through the Value-Adding in Resources Fund, which comes out of the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund announced in November 2021.

Also committed was a $500 million Driving the Nation Fund to build supporting infrastructure for zero-emissions vehicles.

Anthony Albanese at the launch of the Labor Party’s 2022 election campaign in Perth. Credit: ABC News

At the Labor Party’s election campaign launch in Perth on Sunday, Mr Albanese outlined the party’s five priorities, which includes new commitments to support the energy, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors.

“Labor knows the value of resources jobs, and we are firmly focused on a bigger future for the industry. Thanks to Labor’s $1 billion Value-Adding in Resources Fund, we will capture more value from the resources sector here, and create more Australian jobs,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Morrison Government claimed that electric vehicles would ‘end the weekend’ and that hydrogen was ‘snake oil’. Only a Labor Government I lead will deliver a truly national Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Network and roll out Hydrogen Highways across the country. This will be the key to Driving the Nation.”

Labor expects that Australia’s resource and energy export earning will reach $425 billion in 2021-22. Investment through the Value-Adding in Resources Fund will build capability through critical-mineral processing, speciality battery manufacturing, and mining science.

The Driving the Nation Fund will include the $250 million already committed by the Commonwealth government to the Future Fuels Fund. Only about 10 per cent of the Future Fuels Fund has been distributed so far.

Included in the fund is $39.3 million for a National EV Charging Network and $80 million for 16 hydrogen refuelling stations along the busiest freight routes in Australia.

Investment in the EV charging network is being matched by the National Roads and Motorists’ Association and will be in partnership across all levels of government, local communities, and industry. On average, EV charging stations are expected to be built at an average interval of 150 kilometres on major roads.

Following completion, this will allow EV travel between Adelaide and Perth, Perth to Darwin, Broken Hill to Adelaide, Port Augusta to Darwin, and Brisbane to Tennant Creek.

The announcements follow a $250 million joint promise by Mr Albanese and the West Australian state government to a electric bus manufacturing facility should the Labor party win the federal election on May 21. This will also fund infrastructure allowing depots to support electric buses and the purchase of 130 locally manufactured buses.

Labor has previously  promised to introduce an Electric Car Discount which would exempt some EVs from a 5 per cent import tax and a 47 per cent fringe benefits tax on company cars.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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