In the event of a re-election, the Shorten Labor Government has committed to supercharging Australia’s battery metal manufacturing industry to support Australian manufacturing jobs and drive Australia to a clean energy future.
In committing its support for battery metal manufacturing in Australia, on Friday 5 October, Federal Labor cited a 2018 report by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) that the global lithium value chain is forecast to grow from $160 billion in 2018 to $2 trillion in 2025.
In the statement, Labor commented that Australia should ‘have a bigger slice of that pie’ and that there’s no reason why Australian manufacturing workers can’t refine more of our battery metals and also make batteries here.
Presently, there are several companies investing to refine battery metals and establish battery manufacturing facilities, this includes BHP’s nickel refinery and Tianqi’s Lithium processing plant in Kwinana, as well as the Sonnen battery plant in Adelaide and Energy Renaissance’s battery plant planned in Darwin. State and Territory Governments such as Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory are also developing their own battery metal manufacturing strategies.
Labor wants to support these investments and partner with these states and territories to support further growth in battery metal processing and battery manufacturing.
The Federal Labor has committed to:
- Partnering with state and territory governments to support further growth in battery metal processing and battery manufacture.
- Tasking Austrade to develop a Manufacturing, Export and Investment Strategy – starting with a review of the future of battery metal extraction and advanced processing.
- Making research into battery metal processing and battery manufacture a funding priority for the Australian Research Council (ARC).
AMEC CEO, Mr Warren Pearce said AMEC has advocated for all Australian governments to take a leadership role to ensure Australia does not miss out on this opportunity.
“This is a modern nation-building opportunity, a chance to secure a significant position in a new emerging industry for Australia in what will quickly become one of the largest industries in the world,” he said.
“Both the Resource 2030 Taskforce Report, and the Chief Economist’s September 2018 Resources Quarterly Report clearly articulate the opportunity that exists for Australia,” Mr Pearce explained.