Hydrogen highways to link Australia's East Coast

New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have today announced a landmark tri-state collaboration on a renewable hydrogen refuelling network for heavy transport and logistics along Australia's eastern seaboard.

Slow shutter speed night photography of M5 motorway.

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean said establishing a hydrogen refuelling network for heavy transport on Australia's busiest road freight routes will enable the decarbonisation of heavy transport industry.

'Renewable hydrogen will increasingly become a competitive zero emissions fuel option for our heavy transport sector, giving our trucking industry the opportunity to decarbonise their fleets,' Mr Kean said.

'The governments of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland are signing Memorandums of Understanding for the refuelling corridors, starting with the Hume Highway, the Pacific Highway and the Newell Highway.'

Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D'Ambrosio said this agreement will be key to reducing emissions in transport and logistics, one of the country's most important sectors of the economy.

'The renewable hydrogen highway will create new jobs, drive investment across the east coast and is a landmark step towards meeting Victoria's target to halve emissions by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050,' Ms D'Ambrosio said.

'This historic collaboration between Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland will revolutionise Australia's busiest freight corridor, lighting a pathway to a zero-emissions transport sector.'

Queensland Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni said hydrogen presents an enormous opportunity for the State, including emissions reduction opportunities and fuel security benefits.

'When you consider the impacts of the COVID pandemic and international conflicts, it's clear Australia must achieve energy independence, to shield our nation from foreign companies and foreign powers,' Mr de Brenni said.

'Low emissions electricity and hydrogen fuelled heavy transport will sit at the heart of the renewable energy eco-system. Transport is the fastest growing sector for emissions and ironically it could also be the key to reducing them.'

Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the States have agreed to collaborate on the development of the east coast hydrogen refuelling network, including on the Hume Highway, the Pacific Highway and the Newell Highway by 2026.

The work will commence with Victoria and New South Wales will each provide $10 million to build at least four renewable hydrogen refuelling stations between Sydney and Melbourne. The funding will also provide grants for the country's first long-haul hydrogen fuel cell electric freight trucks.