Albanese's Hunter speech hints at Australia's response to the US Inflation Reduction Act

Pundits have speculated the Federal Government is planning a significant funding package in the upcoming budget in response to the Biden Administration's IRA, with areas of focus foreshadowed by Albanese's speech in the Hunter on Friday.

Newcastle harbour ship
Newcastle has traditionally been a coal town.

The Biden Administration’s US$624 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), with its ambitious goals to reduce inflation, has reverberated across international markets, prompting countries worldwide to reassess their energy policies and investment strategies. Australia, known for its vast renewable energy resources and burgeoning clean energy sector, stands uniquely positioned to capitalize on this change in thinking.

In recent months, the Clean Energy Council has been at the forefront of advocating for an Australian response to the IRA. Recognizing the heightened competition for capital investment, labour, and resources, the Council emphasizes the need for bold policy initiatives to ensure Australia remains competitive in the global clean energy investment race.

During an address at the Hunter Nexus Dinner on Friday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered insights into Australia's potential budget strategy in light of the IRA, sparking speculation about our nation's forthcoming response.

Albanese highlighted Australia's potential to lead in clean energy technology and innovation, suggesting a proactive stance towards leveraging the country's renewable energy resources and mineral wealth. The Prime Minister also outlined the government's commitment to supporting industries and regions in transition, echoing calls for coordinated policy efforts to help Australia's energy transformation.

Albanese praised the resilience of Newcastle and the Hunter region, mentioning their ability to overcome economic challenges and shape their own future. He emphasized the importance of preparing Australia for global economic shifts, particularly in the energy sector.

In addition to renewable energy, Albanese emphasized investments in infrastructure, digital technology, and workforce development to drive economic growth and productivity. Education featured prominently in Albanese's speech, with commendations for the University of Newcastle's efforts to widen access to higher education. Accessibility is crucial to the skill development of workers navigating Australia's evolving energy landscape.

Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said that while further details about a response to the IRA have yet to be made public, the Government has demonstrated that it is serious about ensuring that Australia’s clean energy transformation isn’t left behind in the global clean energy investment race.

“Australia has tremendous potential to leverage its superb renewable energy resources and rich mineral endowments to drive a new era of clean, economic expansion,” Thornton said.

“The Clean Energy Council has led calls for Australia to calibrate the policy settings needed to ensure a timely decarbonisation of our energy system, and to make the most of abundant opportunities in future green commodities and manufacturing industries critical to our future success as a clean energy superpower.

To read the full transcript of Prime Minister Albanese's Hunter Nexus speech, go here.

Resources Industry Partners


Events, grants, news, resources and project announcements. Stay informed via our newsletters.