The company behind the soon-to-be-built lithium ion battery factory at Tomago says the government's Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing road map will help increase the value and influence of Australia's battery industry.
Energy Renaissance is about to start construction of its $28 million manufacturing facility at Tomago, which will eventually employ 1700 people.
Speaking at the launch of the road map on Thursday, Energy Renaissance managing director Mark Chilcote said the United States had recently announced that it would prioritise the domestic consumption and production of critical and rare earth minerals.
"Australia cannot afford to be at the end of a queue for these minerals. There is currently no commercial production of battery-grade materials and chemicals in Australia," he said.
"But we will change this in the very near future when Energy Renaissance commences production of its batteries. We will be able to engage with suppliers of Australian nickel, cobalt, manganese, graphite, lithium, aluminium and copper and to use their materials in our batteries."
The government's 10-year Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing Roadmap received wide-ranging support from environment groups.
Climate Council economist Nicki Hutley said the plan to boost processing of critical minerals needed for batteries, solar panels and wind turbines was a welcome step that could potentially strengthen the economy while tackling climate change.
"Boosting our processing capability of rare earth and other critical minerals can add value to our economy and support growth in our manufacturing sector," Ms Hutley said.
"Processing minerals domestically could give Australian manufacturers a major competitive advantage in manufacturing renewable energy technologies, batteries, and electric vehicle parts."
"It could also drive much-needed jobs transition in mining regions like the Hunter Valley in NSW, central Queensland and Western Australia. These areas already have the natural resources and significant skills and infrastructure, but will need additional investment."
WWF-Australia's energy transition manager Nicky Ison said the Hunter wasfast becoming a leading light in Australia's transition to becoming a renewable energy superpower.
"WWF-Australia, Beyond Zero Emissions and other organisations have been advocating for the establishment of a renewable energy industry precinct in the Hunter Valley, and to continue its embrace of clean tech innovation and manufacturing," she said.
"WWF-Australia welcomes the Morrison Government's Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Processing Roadmap which will help regional areas like the Hunter Valley create jobs of the future and create wealth for the community, and for the country."
Despite the emphasis on transition the Prime Minister said he was unconvinced that many coal fired power stations would be closed by 2030.
"The world, over time, is moving to a different energy economy. That's true. People here in the Hunter understand that, as they do down in the Illawarra and other parts of Australia," he said.
"But that transition is taking place over quite a period of time. And the government is working hard to ensure that we both maintain the industrial base - particularly of regions like the Hunter - while, at the same time, fostering and investing in the transition in the future."