The Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct is seeking to co-locate clean energy generation with industrial and manufacturing facilities across more than 2000 hectares of dedicated land south of Townsville.
The Precinct would be Northern Australia’s first environmentally sustainable advanced manufacturing, technology and processing hub, the Townsville council says. The city council and the Queensland state government have both listed the development as a top priority. It is expected to create over 5,000 jobs in construction, a further 6,000 permanent ongoing jobs and 9,100 indirect jobs to follow once the precinct is in operation.
“We need Australia to be a nation that makes things again,” federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese said.
With an election looming, Albanese pledged the funds in the hopes it might win hearts and minds in the state which swings conservative in federal elections. The additional funds would bring the total Commonwealth investment in the project to $34 million, Labor said.
Mayor of Townsville, Jenny Hill, welcomed the announcement. “This commitment from the alternative government of Australia to the people of Townsville will set our city up for sustained, long-term economic growth,” she said, calling on the current Coalition government to match the commitment.
In September, renewables developer Edify Energy became the first to be granted development approval to build and operate a green hydrogen production plant of up to 1 GW, as well as a behind-the-meter solar and battery storage facility within the Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct.
The Townsville City Council said two other companies have “signed up to establish themselves at the precinct.” The others include Queensland Pacific Minerals, which reportedly plans to produce battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate from a nickel-cobalt ore, and Imperium3 Townsville, which is seeking to develop an 18 GWh lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facility, according to the council.
In January, research from the Victorian Hydrogen Hub found Northern Queensland (and Tasmania) would be the cheapest location to produce hydrogen.
“North Queensland has all the key ingredients to become a leader in renewable manufacturing and hydrogen production, including some of the country’s best solar and wind resources, critical mineral deposits in the North West Minerals Province and a skilled local workforce,” energy strategist for community group Solar Citizens said.
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