Planning Minister Richard Wynne fast-tracks coal-to-hydrogen project

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Mr Wynne’s letter, dated October 16, says he intervened on the request of GHD, an expert companies agency concerned within the pilot undertaking.

The Andrews and Morrison governments have every dedicated $50 million to the pilot undertaking, which has acquired heavy monetary backing from the Japanese as they search to wean themselves off nuclear energy following the Fukushima earthquake in 2011.

Japan has recognized Gippsland’s ample brown coal reserves as an inexpensive supply of gasoline to be transformed to liquid hydrogen and exported in a undertaking valued at $496 million.

However its viability depends on the flexibility, nonetheless unproven, to sequester carbon emissions from the brown coal in porous rock formations beneath the Bass Strait seabed.

Liberal ministers, including former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, launched the pilot project in April.

Liberal ministers, together with former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, launched the pilot undertaking in April. Credit score:Justin McManus

The undertaking has been criticised by surroundings teams, who argue Victoria wants to maneuver away from coal as an influence supply, not search to prop it up with unproven schemes.

However the Australian and Victorian governments hope the coal-to-hydrogen undertaking shall be a supply of recent jobs for many years to return within the Latrobe Valley, one of many state’s most economically deprived areas.

Mr Wynne has used his call-in powers only a handful of occasions as planning minister, on tasks together with the Apple retailer in Federation Sq. and Crown’s 90-storey skyscraper in Southbank.

Greens surroundings spokesperson Ellen Sandell attacked the choice as proof Labor was decided to “entrench coal mining in Victoria … and are keen to exempt themselves from the principles to take action”.

“Labor’s Richard Wynne has rushed by a call to approve this coal undertaking simply earlier than the federal government goes into caretaker mode, and on high of that, he’s additionally intentionally exempted himself from any necessities to offer discover to the group or seek the advice of,” Ms Sandell stated.

The Greens are focusing on Mr Wynne’s inner-city seat of Richmond, which he holds by a margin of simply 1.9 per cent.

Setting Victoria’s Nicholas Aberle stated the idea of changing Latrobe Valley brown coal to hydrogen was an costly pipedream.

“Coal-to-hydrogen goes to be useless on arrival and is a waste of taxpayers’ cash,” Mr Aberle stated.

“With out carbon seize and storage, it’s the dirtiest manner of manufacturing hydrogen,” he stated.

The federal authorities stated when it launched the pilot undertaking in April that it may in the end generate greater than $eight billion for the nationwide financial system.

The Andrews authorities has been contacted for remark.

State Political Correspondent for The Age

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