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Union: NSW government must prioritise workers in hydrogen strategy

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT (AMWU) welcomes the NSW Government’s plan to establish a green hydrogen industry but says local workers and the use of local content must be the focus of any plans.

The government states that by 2030, NSW has the potential to produce 110,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year and that reaching this target could create up to 10,000 new jobs.

The AMWU calls on the government to make a commitment to manufacture infrastructure and components associated with a hydrogen industry locally. And it is essential that hydrogen industry jobs are secure, with good benefits, wages, and conditions.

As noted in the Clean Energy Exports Report released this week by the ACTU, conservation and business groups, a skilled workforce is essential for creating a renewable energy industry. Accessible training must be offered to workers in mining and power generation to reskill and move into jobs in the green hydrogen industry if they choose.

Quotes attributable to Cory Wright – State Secretary AMWU NSW & ACT

“The NSW government must not pass up this opportunity to create secure jobs in a sustainable industry. Regional communities need to know there are job opportunities available for future generations as the world moves away from fossil fuels. 

“The government should mandate the use of local content on all hydrogen industry construction projects and should seek to manufacture components like electrolysers locally.

Doing this will create a sustainable manufacturing industry, preserve existing jobs, and create new ones.

“We can have a manufacturing industry powered by renewable energy. If we invest strongly into offshore wind and solar projects, the costs associated with green hydrogen will decrease, and we won’t need to source hydrogen from natural gas.”

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