$14.8 million boost for Broken Hill battery
Last week I was thrilled to announce that the Coalition Government is teaming up with AGL to construct a large-scale battery at Broken Hill which will improve energy security in regional New South Wales and help to maintain downward pressure on prices.
A $14.84 million grant through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will enable construction of a 50MW / 50 MWh lithium-ion large scale battery equipped with grid forming inverters to improve system strength and support increased levels of renewable energy generation in the area. AGL has engaged energy storage provider Fluence and its consortium partner Valmec to supply the battery for the $41 million project.
This battery will be a game-changer for Broken Hill – it will supplement the Broken Hill solar plant and Silverton wind farm, storing clean power to ensure the lights remain on across town, while also allowing for further expansion of renewables.
The Parkes electorate is helping to lead the way when it comes to reducing emissions and delivering new renewables, and this battery project will play a big role in helping to power Broken Hill into the future.
Major investment in NBN, RFDS
Some big announcements have begun to roll out ahead of this week’s Federal Budget, but perhaps most exciting for the Parkes electorate is the $480 million investment into the NBN to improve the quality of services being provided over the NBN fixed wireless and satellite networks.
By using the latest 4G and 5G wireless technology, this upgrade will extend the coverage range from a tower and allow higher speed services to everyone served by the tower. This means more people can be served by NBN fixed wireless; it means higher speed services on the NBN fixed wireless network; and it means higher amounts of data can be used by households and business customers.
More than 24,000 premises across the Parkes electorate will be able to benefit from this upgrade, which will make a huge difference for so many families and businesses.
Meanwhile, the Coalition Government has also announced it will enter into a record 10-year strategic partnership – worth nearly $1 billion – to provide more certainty for regional, rural and remote patients who rely on the critical aeromedical service.
The RFDS plays a vital role in our electorate and this historic partnership will provide long-term security to enable this iconic Australian rural and remote service to plan better into the future and continue its life-saving work.
Minister’s visit a win for our region
It was great to have Agriculture Minister David Littleproud in the Parkes electorate last week.
In Dubbo we announced a $1.5 million grant for Australian Cotton Shippers Association and Cotton Australia to develop market access strategies for Australia’s cotton industry. This grant will have flow-on effects for local cotton growers by helping to maximise the potential for Australian cotton exports and increasing the global profile of locally-produced cotton.
We also announced more than $1 million for the creation of drought resilience officers in the Northern NSW/Southern QLD Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub, including one position to be based in Narrabri. These Adoption Officers will drive the innovation in drought resilience technologies and practices on farms across Northern NSW.
During the visit, Minister Littleproud was able to meet with some of the movers and shakers in the agricultural industry in the Parkes electorate, and enjoyed tours of the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute in Narrabri and Fletcher International Exports in Dubbo.
Funding available for regional airports
Regional airports or aerodromes across the Parkes electorate can now apply for their share of $29 million available to support vital safety and accessibility upgrades, under Round 3 of the Regional Airports Program.
Grants of between $20,000 and $5 million are available to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. By improving the safety for those using regional airports or aerodromes, we can keep goods and services flowing and better support emergency services.
We’ve already had great success with the previous two rounds, so I look forward to more airports in the Parkes electorate benefitting under this latest round of funding. Further information, including grant guidelines, eligibility requirements and the application process, is available at: https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/regional-airports-program-round-3