WA Governor Kim Beazley has criticized the Federal Government’s lack of appreciation of WA’s potential as a hub for the downstream processing of Lithium-Ion batteries.
Speaking ahead of a meeting between government and industry representatives last week to discuss WA’s energy metals opportunity, Mr Beazley said, “We have very rarely managed to capture the Commonwealth’s imagination on any of this stuff, except as a grizzling entity,”.
“We’ve done many things for this country, we here in Western Australia.
“And frankly they do not appreciate what it is that we can do for this country.”
There are several Lithium Hydroxide processing plants planned in Kwinana and is expected to create thousands of new jobs.
In May, State Government announced a task force chaired by Mines Minister Bill Johnston to investigate how WA could cash in on a “once-in-a-generation” lithium and battery minerals boom.
Mr Beazley said WA needed the “active engagement” of the Federal Government as well as a research and development tax regime that provided incentives for local innovation.
In May, the Federal Government announced plans for a $4 million cap on cash rebates for companies that were spending on R&D and had turnovers of less than $20 million.
The proposal has raised the ire of the technology start-up sector, including Northern Minerals managing director George Bauk, and Lithium Australia boss Adrian Griffin who has lobbied the Government to abandon the plan.
Last week, Regional Development Australia released a report which showed the energy metals sector had the potential to sustain more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in WA by 2025 and contribute more than $56 billion to the local economy.
Meanwhile WA is expected to learn in March 2019 whether its bid for Federal funding for a Co-operative Research Centre into Future Battery Industries is successful.
The State Government has already committed $6 million to the initiative with industry and research institutions contributing about $27 million.
— Haplo (@HC_Haplo) July 19, 2018