Local content use given boost in energy report

17 August 2021

A new Parliamentary Committee report has boosted the need to use local content in investments for renewable energy generation, transmission and firming projects in Renewable Energy Zones (REZs) across New South Wales, Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully said today.

“My unashamed mission is to get as much locally produced quality steel from Port Kembla used in every renewable energy project starting with New South Wales.


“I want to see our high-quality locally-produced steel used in every infrastructure project across the state, to make the Illawarra central to delivering of ongoing investment in renewable energy generation, transmission and firming because this will support local jobs”, he said.


Recommendation 7 of the report says the NSW Government “be required to:”


  1. Prioritise the use of local content in renewable energy generation, transmission and firming projects in NSW Renewable Energy Zones when conducting the competitive tender process for Long-term Energy Service Agreements.
  2. Publish the recommendations of the NSW Renewable Energy Sector Board prepared under s7(4) of the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020.
  3. Report at least annually to the NSW Parliament on the number of jobs created and the development of NSW supply chains for the provision of renewable energy generation and transmission infrastructure.
  4. Publish and report to the NSW Parliament at least annually on the work of the Electricity Infrastructure Jobs Advocate appointed under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020.


“This recommendation reflects NSW Labor’s position, which was negotiated with the Government when the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 was first introduced into the Parliament.


“None of the provisions relating to local content use priority and creation of local jobs in the REZs, including the Illawarra were contained in the Government’s proposed Bill until NSW Labor forced these crucial issues to be included in negotiations”, Mr Scully said.


“The Illawarra has the steel production capacity, skilled workforce and research capability to allow our region and its heavy industry to be part of our clean energy future.


“Recharge Illawarra, a group of unions, industry, educators, researchers and local government, which I co-chair, has been advocating for a stronger role, backed by NSW Government policy, for the Illawarra in delivering clean energy infrastructure and that approach is backed strongly by this report”, he said.


Mr Scully played a key role in negotiations with the Government on the passage of the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 in November 2020.


Mr Scully said he was also pleased to see recommendations in the report which required mine sites to be rehabilitated and reused, and that the Government conduct a skills audit to assess future workforce growth and plans to retrain and reskill workers.


“I’m pleased to see that the report contains recommendations which reflect NSW Labor’s policy position in so many areas such as local contact use, jobs and skills.


“The Government should accept and implement these key recommendations when responding to the report”, he said.


The report tabled on Friday into the sustainability of energy supply and resources in NSW made 21 other recommendations and findings, including that coal mining plays a significant and changing role in the NSW economy.