Budget boosts for Newcastle in renewable energy, infrastructure, and job creation

The Federal Government's 2024 Budget, announced last week, is set to deliver significant benefits for the Hunter region, particularly in renewable energy, infrastructure, and job creation.

Newcastle map w purple

In a statement sharing the Budget highpoints for the Hunter, Sharon Claydon MP, representing Newcastle, has reiterated local wins and discussed the transformative impact these investments will have on the local community and economy.

Renewable Energy Future in Newcastle

Newcastle is poised to become a leader in renewable energy, thanks to substantial investments announced in the 2024 Budget. Key initiatives include:

  • $3.2 billion through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency: This funding will drive the commercialization of technologies essential for achieving net zero emissions, including green metals, batteries, and low carbon liquid fuel.
  • $1.3 billion for the Hydrogen Headstart program: This initiative will support early-movers in the hydrogen industry, positioning Newcastle as a central player in this emerging sector.
  • Hydrogen Production Tax Incentive: Providing a $2 incentive per kilogram of renewable hydrogen produced from 2027-28 to 2039-40, at an estimated cost of $6.7 billion over the medium term, this incentive aims to spur significant growth in hydrogen production.
  • $17.1 million for the National Hydrogen Strategy: Designed to establish Australia as a global hydrogen leader by 2030, this strategy will bolster Newcastle’s role in the hydrogen economy.
  • $27.7 million to integrate consumer energy resources: Enhancing the integration of rooftop solar and household batteries into the grid, this investment will improve energy efficiency and sustainability.
  • $65 billion of renewable energy capacity through the Capacity Investment Scheme: This continued roll-out will unlock massive renewable energy potential.
  • $1.5 billion to strengthen battery and solar panel supply chains: Through the Solar Sunshot Program and Battery Breakthrough Initiative, Newcastle will benefit from reinforced supply chains.

Infrastructure Investments

The 2024 Budget includes substantial infrastructure funding aimed at supporting Newcastle’s growth and development:

  • $10 million for Critical Renewable Energy Zones Road Infrastructure: This will improve connectivity from the Port of Newcastle to the Renewable Energy Zone, facilitating the transport of renewable energy components.
  • $30.6 million additional funding for the Newcastle Inner City Bypass: Enhancing traffic flow between Rankin Park and Jesmond, this project will reduce congestion and improve commute times.
  • $112 million additional funding for the M1 Pacific Motorway Extension: Extending the motorway to Raymond Terrace, this investment will significantly enhance regional connectivity.
  • Over $25 million for Roads to Recovery funding: Ensuring continued investment in local road infrastructure over the next five years, this funding will maintain and improve vital transportation links.
  • $40 million for the Regional Airports Program: Extending competitive grant funding over three years from 2024-25, this program will support regional air connectivity.
  • Investment in a maritime strategic fleet: Establishing a fleet through a pilot program with three Australian-flagged and crewed vessels will bolster maritime capabilities.

Job Creation and Economic Growth

The budget’s investments will drive job creation and economic growth in Newcastle, particularly in the construction and renewable energy sectors:

  • $1 billion for housing infrastructure: This funding will support the construction of more homes, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
  • $88.8 million for 20,000 new fee-free TAFE places: Focused on construction-related courses, this will prepare skilled workers for the housing and infrastructure projects.
  • Doubling funding for homelessness support: and increasing social housing will not only provide homes but also create jobs in construction and related sectors.

Sharon Claydon MP said that this budget builds on previous measures to create jobs, develop infrastructure, and drive the transition to renewable energy, ensuring the Hunter region's growth and prosperity.

"The 2024 Budget is a game-changer for Newcastle and the Hunter region," Claydon said. "It not only provides immediate relief but also sets us up for a sustainable and prosperous future."

To read more about how the Budget will support Newcastle's future, go to Sharon Claydon MP's website here.

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