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Advanced Manufacturing and Defence Industries – Emissions

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tags: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Dr WOODRUFF - Minister, in 2019 industrial processes were responsible for 1.69 megatonnes of carbon dioxide in Tasmania. That's a 19 per cent growth on 1990 levels and represents 20 per cent of Tasmania's emissions, leaving aside land use, land use change and forestry. What is the Government doing and what are you doing within your portfolio to support the reduction of emissions in the advanced manufacturing sector?

Ms OGILVIE - That's a very good question. It is a question around the Environment and Climate Change portfolio but I am a believer -

Dr WOODRUFF - Just to correct you, the Government is very clear that every agency has responsibilities for climate change. It spreads across all agencies. I accept there are particular roles of NRE and climate change but this is about what's happening within your portfolio.

Ms OGILVIE - As I was saying, I am a believer in remediating the effects of pollution and I am a supporter of our climate change policies. I'm very happy to work with those ministers in those portfolios. I don't know if we have a specific program of work on this. I will refer to Mr Bowles.

Mr BOWLES - We work very closely with ReCFIT, the renewable energies unit within Treasury. They had the lead on the hydrogen action plan, so we'll continue to work with them on further exploring and promoting opportunities that are available through those Australian Government and Tasmanian Government programs to support the ongoing decarbonisation and electrification opportunities that there are across advanced manufacturing. We also work one-on-one with the major industrials, who account for a large part of the Tasmanian energy load, and we believe that all of the major industrials have emissions reduction plans and investments that are being backed by government, for example, through the Nyrstar redevelopment.

Dr WOODRUFF - Do you include the major industrials as under your portfolio of Advanced Manufacturing?

Ms OGILVIE - The major industrials sit within the relevant portfolios, however I do take a keen interest in advanced manufacturing as it's matrixed right across the economy, and the same with science and technology.

Dr WOODRUFF - With respect, that is irrelevant to this question. My question is have you got any part of your $8.9 million budget that is directly looking at engaging with advanced manufacturers in Tasmania about their level of carbon emissions? Is there any sort of auditing, is there any consideration of incentives, is there any research being done by your department to look at what is happening in other states so that we can be competitive with other industries, because other states are racing to reduce emissions? It doesn't sound as though it is even on your radar at all.

Ms OGILVIE - You have asked what the department might be doing, so I will get Mr Bowles to speak and then I have another statement I'd like to make.

Mr BOWLES - One of our programs, the advanced manufacturing business improvement program, supports environmental improvement initiatives. For example, we provided $20 000 to Bullock Civil Contracting for assistance with the development of a commercialisation strategy and environmental management process plan for their recycling facility expansion. Mitchell Plastic Welding, which plays a very important part in Tasmania's plastics recycling ecosystem, was provided with $20 000 to leverage a total investment of $279 000 for assistance with their manufacturing improvements which include waste reduction, computerised maintenance and management systems advice and business process development. Through Skills Tasmania, we have funded $950 000 worth of competitive systems training which incorporates waste production.

Ms OGILVIE - Dr Woodruff, you are making a lot of sense and I understand where you're coming from. I suspect that as we go along the path of the new climate bill and climate act and zero carbon that there will be some thinking done sector by sector and I think that's probably where this fits in, but I am happy to take on board your comments today to see if there is more we can do.

Dr WOODRUFF - I would put it to you that it is a threat to our industry if we are not taking action on these things because of the urgent nature of the need to remove emissions from the planet. It will have an effect on our industries and our export industries if we are not reducing our emissions. That is going to have a material effect on us, so if we are asleep at the wheel on this with our industries, it is essentially a long-term risk for them in the near term.

Ms DOW - I wanted the rear admiral to outline his activities.

Mr GILMORE - I was only going to add that the maritime sector in Tasmania I think is responding very well to the challenge that we face in decarbonisation, we being the world and Australia included. There is a lot of work now being done across those manufacturers from Incat down to look towards electric drive and the introduction of alternate fuels, hydrogen-based fuels et cetera. It is early days but they have begun the journey, which is terrific to see.