Dr David Honey MLA, Leader of the WA Liberal Party and Shadow Minister for Energy, said Federal Labor’s pledge for a new battery manufacturing precinct in Queensland is a betrayal of Western Australia’s battery manufacturing potential.
The $100 million dollar precinct promised for Queensland’s coal heartland country is supposed to generate more jobs in new industries, but it completely neglects the fact that Western Australia is the major supplier at a global level of the critical raw materials such as nickel, lithium and cobalt that are essential for battery manufacturing.
It appears that Federal Labor is following the Eastern State’s view that Western Australia is a quarry that does not deserve support for downstream manufacturing.
“WA is again being overlooked by Labor for opportunities to expand new industries,” said Dr Honey.
“Premier McGowan and his Federal Labor Leader claim to be good friends for ‘photo opps’ but Mr Albanese sidelines Western Australia when it comes to meaningful investments in our future.
“Western Australia is a major global supplier of battery raw materials, and it makes much more sense to open battery manufacturing here.
“Their election pledge proves Federal Labor isn’t backing Western Australia’s future.
Dr Honey said WA Labor’s over-reliance on the iron ore industry is setting our State up for severe and sudden mining shock when commodity prices inevitably retreat.
“While WA’s mining industry is essential to our future and needs to see continued investment, we cannot turn a blind eye to diversifying our economy in new and expanding industries whether based on mining, related opportunities or otherwise.
“Worthy investments in new industries, large-scale renewable energy projects and battery manufacturing, must be supported to become a reality in Western Australia’s future,” said Dr Honey.