LETA Media • Federal Budget Leaves Room to Recognise the Potential of Low Emission Technology

14 May 2024

Federal Budget Leaves Room to Recognise the Potential of Low Emission Technology

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Low Emission Technology Australia (LETA) recognises that today’s Federal Budget has taken some important steps toward securing Australia’s position in a global net zero future and calls on Government to go further by adopting a technology neutral approach to investment.

The investment focus announced today risks relying on a too-narrow pathway to net zero that fails to maximise Australia’s strengths and places the future of our critical industries at risk.

Expanding investment to include low emission technology would increase opportunities to decarbonise while ensuring a future for industries like steel, cement and power that support Australian jobs and households every day.

The announcement of $566 million of funding dedicated to geoscientific research is a welcome step in the right direction. This funding will support Geoscience Australia to undertake critical research into the resource and carbon storage potential of Australia’s regions.

While the Government has acknowledged the role of hydrogen through the Hydrogen Production Tax Incentive and the expansion of the Hydrogen Headstart program, LETA urges the focus to be broadened to include all clean hydrogen production pathways.

The Future Made in Australia National Interest Framework has the potential to support emerging low emission technology solutions in coming to commercial scale faster which will help to reduce costs and speed up the transition to a low carbon economy.

Investment for the Regional Cooperation Initiative on Carbon Sequestration proves important support for Australian industry to maximise opportunities with important trading partners.

LETA Chief Executive Officer Mark McCallum said while this budget has taken some positive steps forward, we can do more to secure Australia’s role in a global net zero future.

“LETA welcomes increased investment into geoscientific research that will help us uncover the storage potential of Australia’s onshore and offshore regions,” said Mr McCallum.

“Research that identifies potential sites for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) is a crucial enabler to the deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at scale in Australia.

“The Future made in Australia National Interest Framework (Framework) provides an avenue for Government to invest in low emission technology to decarbonise the existing industries in which Australia has a comparative advantage. LETA welcomes the opportunity to work with Government to ensure the deployment of the Framework maximises opportunity for crucial low emission technologies.

“The Budget announcement of increased investment in hydrogen is a start but it misses an opportunity to focus on all hydrogen production pathways including clean hydrogen using coal, natural gas or biomass with CCS.

“Supporting all production pathways and technologies that are capable of producing clean hydrogen gives our emerging hydrogen industry flexibility to pursue the pathways that best meet customer preferences as global markets emerge.

“Australian industry and international customers have already committed billions of dollars to projects that will supply the world with the low carbon liquid fuels that will be required in the transition to a net zero future.

“LETA would like to see the Government go further in adopting a technology neutral approach to investment in the pathway to net zero to ensure that Australia is not left behind as nations across the world look to build clean energy economies of the future.

“Limiting investment in hydrogen to renewable sources only stands in contrast with the approach taken internationally, in the US for example through the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides significant support for CCS and for all forms of clean hydrogen production.

“The US’s Inflation Reduction Act provides a deliberately technology neutral tax credit that aims to level the playing field between various low-carbon energy technologies such as solar, wind, nuclear, batteries, carbon capture, and others by encouraging investments in the most impactful and commercially available technology.

“As other nations invest in low emission technology, our long-term traditional trading partners like Japan and Korea are looking to Australia for similar signals that we can be relied upon as a leading energy exporter and ensure international competitiveness in a lower-carbon future.”

LETA remains committed to collaborating with government, industry, and our international trading partners to further explore new technologies that will support Australia to reach net zero emissions while ensuring a future for the critical industries that support Australian jobs and households every day.


Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an established and proven technology that is currently being used to abate millions of tonnes of CO2 every year at sites around the world, including projects in Western Australia and Victoria, and Santos’ onshore Moomba CCS project that will soon enter operation in South Australia.

CCS has the potential to capture more than 95 per cent of CO2 emitted from industrial facilities and power stations and prevent it from being released into the atmosphere. Once the CO2 is captured it can either be transported to an injection site and stored permanently underground in both onshore and offshore geological formations or repurposed by industry.

Around the world, Governments, including in the US, UK and EU, and major trading partners like Japan and Korea, are investing billions of dollars in CCS technologies to support decarbonisation efforts of large critical industries.

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