Supporting Traditional Owners in the Renewable Hydrogen Industry

By July 20, 2022 3   min read  (447 words)

July 20, 2022 |

Fuel Cells Works, Supporting Traditional Owners in the Renewable Hydrogen Industry
  • Forum held in Perth to share information.
  • Aims to empower Traditional Owners in negotiations with renewable hydrogen projects.

The McGowan Government is supporting the growth of Western Australia’s emerging renewable hydrogen industry by bringing together Traditional Owners from across the State for a hydrogen capacity-building forum in Perth today.

The purpose of the forum was to bring Traditional Owners together to share information and allow them to take a negotiated position on the State’s approximately 30 medium and large-scale renewable hydrogen projects, which span from Kununurra in the north, through to the Esperance/Eucla region on the south coast.

A number of hydrogen hubs are also expected to be developed for the Pilbara region, Oakajee in the Mid-West and in the Perth-Peel region at Kwinana.

Traditional Owner groups will play an important role in developing a global scale industry in WA.

Hydrogen project proponents are looking at tenure arrangements with early access, followed by subsequent leases with exclusive and non-exclusive areas with access provided under the principles of free, prior and informed consent from Traditional Owners.

Benefit sharing from these projects could include joint ventures and partnerships between Traditional Owners and projects that can help to secure long-term equity, skills and jobs, as well as future economic, social and environmental benefits for regional and remote communities.

Today’s workshop has provided a forum for Aboriginal stakeholders to learn more about the nature and scale of these opportunities, share experiences of negotiations and explore collaboration opportunities.

The McGowan Government is committed to working with Traditional Owners to build capacity and help negotiate the best outcomes for communities engaging with hydrogen project proponents across the State.

The State Government has proposed changes to WA’s Land Administration Act 1997 (LAA) to introduce a new, more flexible form of land tenure for unallocated Crown and pastoral land, allowing multiple interests to co-exist.

The McGowan Government has committed $160 million to support the development of the renewable hydrogen industry in WA and is on track to meet the 2022 goals set out in the WA Renewable Hydrogen Strategy.

Comments attributed to Hydrogen Industry Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“Renewable hydrogen offers an incredible opportunity to reduce emissions while supporting local jobs and delivering long-term wealth for communities across the State.

“We want to balance support for the hydrogen industry with respecting the rights of existing interest holders and retaining opportunities for other industries and users, and have been working on evolving suitable land tenure models for large-scale projects.

“We want to work with Traditional Owners to empower groups to take a negotiated position in the State’s exciting renewable hydrogen projects.”

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