Minns pledges $25 million to train hydrogen plumbers

Joseph Brookes
Senior Reporter

A Hydrogen Centre of Excellence will be established in Sydney to train hundreds of plumbers for the emerging industry if Labor is elected at this month’s New South Wales election.

A $25 million commitment was announced on Friday by NSW Labor leader Chris Minns just weeks after promising $1 billion in clean energy infrastructure financing, as states jockey for a slice of Australia’s emerging green hydrogen industry.

A Minns government would follow its Queensland Labor counterpart to establish the centre in partnership with the industry-led, union-backed Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre.

Opposition leader Chris Minns

“Hydrogen has huge potential for our renewables transition. And if we’re smart, it can also bring thousands of high-paid, secure new jobs to our state,” Mr Minns said.

“A Labor Government will train the high-skilled workers we need to capitalise on this opportunity.”

The party has committed to establishing a Hydrogen Centre of Excellence in Glenwood Sydney to train plumbers in specialist skills such as fire protection, fire control, plumbing and hydrogen.

The centre would be operational from 2026, eventually delivering “hundreds” of apprentices and upskilled workers each year, Labor says.

Last year the Palaszczuk government launched the country’s first Hydrogen Centre of Excellence also in partnership with the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre.

The potential new Sydney centre would be in Glenwood where the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre has had a campus since 2020.

Under its 2021 strategy, the New South Wales government is trying to reduce the price of green hydrogen to $5.80 per kg over the next decade. It is offering $3 billion of industry incentives to get there.

In the last month, several green hydrogen projects have been funded in the state, but others have fallen over as competition for the industry grows around Australia and the world.

Labor last month promised $1 billion to establish a state-owned Energy Security Corporation. It would offer loans and equity investments in clean energy projects, with a focus on community batteries and other medium to long duration energy storage solutions.

Shadow Energy and Climate Change minister Jihad Dib said green hydrogen “could” be a major part of the state’s energy transition.

“To meet our climate commitments we need to think big. Hydrogen could eventually be a major part of our renewables mix.  And we want NSW to be a world leader in this field.

“Alongside our new Energy Security Corporation, this will help our state become more self-sufficient when it comes to energy. Only Labor will deliver the required investment and long-term commitment to make a success of the renewables transition.”

Three manufacturing Centres of Excellence would also be established by a Minns government under a $43 million commitment announced last month.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment

Related stories