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News Service 88 – Future workforce inquiry, Australia loses VET champion, Join ARC team, Training Package update-TDR, Adult literacy inquiry, eliminating VET stigma, Women in trades, Electrical incidents – electrocution, Australian Standards, Safety & Industry news

uensw  > Industry News, News headlines >  News Service 88 – Future workforce inquiry, Australia loses VET champion, Join ARC team, Training Package update-TDR, Adult literacy inquiry, eliminating VET stigma, Women in trades, Electrical incidents – electrocution, Australian Standards, Safety & Industry news


The Australian Productivity Commission has released its latest update for Inquiry Participants.  The Inquiry is to provide the Australian Government with an overarching analysis of Australia’s productivity performance, and recommend an actionable roadmap to assist with productivity-enhancing reforms for the future, particularly in light of Australia’s COVID-19 experiences.

The Update Report of 7 April 2022 (download) states, “The terms of reference for the Inquiry give the Commission considerable scope in choosing areas on which to focus. To inform this choice, the Commission has engaged with over 80 stakeholders across the economy and received a number of submissions and brief comments.  …

Productivity is about getting more out of our productive activities and endowments.  … Productivity growth is thus fundamental to – almost synonymous with – rising living standards.  …

Beyond the short-term influences on productivity, the long-term changing nature of the Australian economy suggests considerable scope for productivity growth may lie beyond the ‘traditional’ goods industries of agriculture, manufacturing and mining, and with the diverse services sector that both supports them and meets consumers needs directly. It is possible that the path of productivity growth in the services sector could look somewhat different to the path it has taken in relation to goods production.

The three categories of productivity enablers will be considered, loosely picking up the key components of a standard economic growth model – capital (dynamic firms, flexible markets), labour (the future workforce) and technology (leveraging new technologies and innovation). The specific areas within these enablers that will motivate policy recommendations will develop with the inquiry process.”

A key focus area covering the labour component of the Report is, “the future workforce”.  In this regard the Report provides the following statement, “The experiences of the past few years have highlighted the critical role our education system can play in providing both the basic training for our future workforce and options for supporting lifelong learning, including rapid reskilling of those displaced from their current jobs. Skill formation is fundamental to future productivity growth. For example, improving the quality of labour in the services sector is likely to be key to delivering improvements in the quality and accessibility of services. Some tasks across the economy will continue to become automated and STEM skills will be important for those workers enabling an effective digital progression. But tasks that require the judgement, empathy or decision-making of a person will also likely remain areas where skilled workers are in demand. How our schools, higher education and vocational training institutions, and other skills development processes can be most efficiently and effectively used to skill our future workforce, will be a focus in this inquiry.”

The next step in the inquiry is that, over the coming months the PC will be supplementing the latest’s report information with research and preparing a number of interim reports for the focal areas described above, to elicit further insights on reform options that would improve productivity.

The Commission will seek further information and feedback from interim reports at a date to be determined in 2022. 



TAFE Directors Australia reports in its latest 2 May 2022 newsletter that Professor Peter Noonan, education visionary and scholar, lost his battle with cancer.

The article states, “Australia has lost one of its most prolific and insightful authorities on the tertiary education landscape, with the death of Peter Noonan.

Peter was Emeritus Professor of Tertiary Education Policy at the Mitchell Institute and the Centre for Research on International Education Systems at Victoria University.

He was also an Honorary Senior Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne in the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership.

Peter died on April 23 after a protracted battle with cancer.

He carved a remarkable reputation for his expert knowledge of the education and training sector over some four decades. Indeed, he played a pivotal role in many of the landmark reforms, effectively shaping much of the modern education system.

Originally from Western Australia, he worked as an official at the Australian Education Union, before a career that spanned policy adviser, senior executive, consultant, academic, speaker and sought-after commentator.

He had a commanding presence that was backed by a meticulous knowledge of the detail, honed from both the theory and the real world.  …

TDA acknowledges the remarkable role that Peter Noonan played in helping to build Australia’s education system, and extends its sincere condolences to his family and colleagues.”


Peter was well known to the VET community and the undersigned had personal dealings with him during the ANTA and post ANTA days.  His extraordinary contribution and impact to the VET system and education in general will be remembered for a long-time.  He had a personal hand in the ANTA vision and establishment of Training Packages, which changed the landscape of VET across Australia.  He was truly a visionary and a quality leader for the VET change agenda movement.  We will miss him dearly.

The NSW UE ITAB Board of Directors and the undersign, also extend our deepest sympathies to Peter’s family, colleagues and friends. 


The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) in its 29 April 2022 Media Release (download), that it looking to recruit recruiting field officers to help the refrigeration and air conditioning industry to protect the planet from global warming and ozone depletion.

The release states, “If you have RAC experience, communication and people skills, a positive “can do” attitude and a desire to help the industry to save the planet through the ARCTick licensing scheme, ARC would like to hear from you.

ARC chief executive officer Glenn Evans said the success of the scheme was evident in the growing number of licensed technicians and businesses, which recently topped 120,000.

“As the national licensing body for the RAC industry, it is our job to deliver compliance and education services to license holders, both in the stationary and automotive sectors,” he said.

“Our field officers are vital to delivering these services, as they are our main face-to-face contact through our on-site audit activities.

“The big thing about our field officers is that they are there to help, advise and support people in meeting the requirements of their license, not just to ensure people are complying.

“They need great communication skills and a talent for working hand-in-hand with industry – after that come skills such as RAC experience, computer literacy and problem solving.

“It’s an ideal role for people with lots of industry experience who want to get off the tools but still make a positive contribution to the industry they know and love.”

ARC works under contract to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) to license businesses and individuals under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and Regulations 1995.

At present ARC has field officer opportunities based at the Melbourne head office and at the Perth office – email for details.”


At the 45th Meeting of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC), held 12 April 2022, members resolved to revise the Industry Reference Committee (IRC) Operating Framework, and in relation to the UET Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training Package Release 3.0 considered and approved a Case for Endorsement submission for the updating a qualification and units of competency, and the Case for Change submission to add one unit of competency.

It issued a Communique in this regard on 29 April 2022.

With respect to the Revisions to the IRC Operating Framework, the “Committee agreed revisions to the IRC Operating Framework to include new conflict of interest clauses that will provide clarity around the management of conflicts of interest in IRC decision-making. Members also approved a range of supporting material to assist IRC’s in implementing best practice conflict of interest arrangements.

Members noted that the updated IRC Operating Framework and supporting material, will be uploaded to the IRC toolkit on the AISC website, and that Skills Service Organisations (SSOs) and IRCs will be informed of the changes. The AISC is hopeful that the updated framework will also be a useful resource for the new industry engagement arrangements.”

In relation to the UET Transmission, Distribution and Rail Sector Training Package Release 3.0 and Electricity Supply Transmission, Distribution and Rail IRC submission related to the Case for Endorsement it approved the following training products for endorsement covering Project A: Transmission Structures:

  • 1 x updated qualification
  • 3 x updated units of competency
  • 2 x deleted units

For the Case for Endorsement, the Committee approved the Electricity Supply Transmission, Distribution and Rail IRC’s training package development submission of adding one (1) unit of competency related to powerline safety.

For more information or to download the Communique, visit the following link:  AISC MEETING COMMUNIQUE – 12 APRIL 2022


The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training recently conducted an inquiry and released its report into adult literacy and its importance.

The Committee’s report titled, “Don’t take it as read”, notes that too many Australians leave school with language, literacy, numeracy, and digital literacy (LLND) skills gaps that limit opportunities and life choices.  At the same time, many older Australians are finding that the skills they have relied on in the past are not keeping pace with technology.

The report states, “This inquiry examined the importance of developing strong LLND skills, overcoming barriers to learning, and the ability of existing adult education programs and providers to meet demand.  The Committee found that poor education outcomes are strongly correlated with poverty and geographic isolation.  There is a need to address factors that contribute to low LLND skills across all educational systems, at every stage of a person’s life journey.

The inquiry found that there are currently a range of accredited programs available for adults to improve their LLND skills, including Australian Government programs focussed on employment readiness and vocational education and training. However, adults with low LLND do not necessarily want to sign up for accredited courses.  Instead, working with a volunteer tutor or attending a small class at a neighbourhood centre can help build their skills and confidence, which may then lead to employment and further education and training opportunities. However, the adult and community education sector is significantly under-resourced and is currently unable to meet the high demand for adult LLND education.  There is also a critical shortage of qualified adult literacy teachers in Australia.”



NCVER and VOCEDplus have released the latest “What If” paper.  Written by Maree Ackehurst, Leesha Chan and Tania Erzinger the paper explores. “What if we could eliminate the stigma of VET?” 

The paper reflects on the question, “Why ask ‘what if?’ ?, stating “The view of VET by students and their families, school staff and faculty, career advisors, employers and the broader public is embedded in a range of perceptions. Image, awareness, quality, and relevance are four major and interrelated aspects of these perceptions, some of which are negative and misguided, creating a stigma associated with choosing a VET pathway. In this paper we give a broad overview of the perceptions involved and some of the actions being taken to address them. We then ask, what if we could eliminate the stigma?”

Perceptions of VET are influenced by many factors including quality of training and relevance of training outcomes to the labour market and employers. Terminology and framing that shape these perceptions fall into opposing positions between VET and higher education, ’job versus career; technical versus analytical; applied versus theoretical; trade versus profession’ (Snowden & Lewis, 2015, p.590). Underpinning this discourse is a parity of esteem factor, the comparison of VET with higher education, and assumptions that VET is a second-choice pathway even though VET generally caters for different types of jobs to higher education (HE). Despite different national contexts and positive post-training outcomes, the dominating and relatively unchallenged preference for higher education continues to influence many students globally, who believe employment outcomes in VET areas offer fewer financial incentives (Chankseliani, Relly & Laczik, 2015; Kersh & Juul, 2015).

The parity of esteem between VET and academic paths significantly influences students throughout their educational pathways and career planning. Parents are considered the biggest influence on students during this time, ahead of friends, the community, institutions, teachers, and career guidance counsellors (Billett, Choy & Hodge, 2019). Yet parents may have outdated ideas about VET that detract from encouraging their child to choose vocational education (Billett, Choy & Hodge, 2019; ABM UK, 2018). …”

Clearly, the perception of VET is a complex issue globally, defined by both external and internal factors: how potential students, and society, view the system subjectively; and the factors within that system that may affect attractiveness, such as relevance to the labour market and overall quality (Cedefop 2014). Across regions there are also mixed perceptions – a valued path to address unemployment, tackle social inclusion and build economies – and simultaneously, a second choice to general and higher education (Cedefop, 2017; Kersh & Juul, 2015). One thing is unanimous, perceptions can only change if these challenges are addressed. A prominent view throughout the literature is that if the attractiveness of VET is to be enhanced amongst employers, individuals, and parents, a range of support is needed from governments and VET providers.”

The paper goes onto what is being done and provides examples of strategies being deployed to navigate the stigma of VET and improve its attractiveness. These include:

  • Quality and structural improvement
  • Incentives
  • Information provision and career guidance
  • Marketing campaigns and rebranding
  • Skills competitions

What if? papers are designed to compare, increase, and re-evaluate understandings of popular topics relating to vocational education and training (VET).

Starting with an overview of the topic, these papers then ask the question ‘What if…?’ to create a space for readers to revisit these topics with a fresh perspective and consider contrasting ideas and alternative possibilities.

This particular paper is very interesting and worthy of a review and helps get a better understanding of the issues.  It unpacks some of the key perceptions underpinning the stigma of VET and identifies some possible options for consideration.



A reminder that the Department of Customer Service, Customer Delivery and Transformation’s NSW Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) team has partnered with Training Services NSW to run the ‘Women in Trades’ project.

The team is seeking to increase the number of women apprentices and trainees in non-traditional trades.

They have identified behavioural solutions from Australian and international academic studies and other reports. 

The team is now travelling to nine sites across metro and regional NSW to explore local dynamics and how they can tailor solutions to the respective region.

The BIU team warmly invite stakeholders and practitioners to attend the nearest stakeholder consultation, as per the list below. 

The program:

  • What is it: Individuals can choose to participate in one or both activities, with lunch available to all
  • 3-hour workshop to discuss the employer and apprentice customer journey, and how to implement solutions for the region
  • 1-hour focus group on recruitment barriers and strategies to hire more women apprentices and trainees
  • How to register: Please see below for the link to your nearest local consultation
  • Who should attend: employers, professional bodies, Government agencies, and other stakeholders who are committed to hiring more women
  • Feel free to forward to other stakeholders, team members, partners and practitioners
North Coast & Mid North CoastWed, 04 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)TBC, Coffs Harbour
Hunter & Central CoastWed, 04 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)Training Services, Level 1, 117 Bull Street, Newcastle West, NSW 2302
New EnglandWed, 04 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)NSW Department of Education, 155-157 Marius Street, Tamworth, NSW 2340
Western Sydney and Blue MountainsWed, 11 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)Training Services NSW, 16/18 Wentworth Street, Parramatta, NSW 2150
Illawarra & South East NSWWed, 11 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)TBC, Wollongong
RiverinaWed, 18 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)TBC, Wagga Wagga
Western SydneyWed, 18 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)TBC, Orange
Central and Northern SydneyWed, 25 May 202209:30am to 14:30pm (lunch included)TBC, Chatswood

For more information contact Dr Zuleyka Zevallos, A/ Project Manager, Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) at Customer Delivery and Transformation, Department of Customer Service on T: 02 2 8226 0238 or E:

8. SMART AND SKILLED UPDATE – NO. 164 – 166 MAY 2022

Smart and Skilled Update No. 166 – 166 (download) – May 2022, covers the following:

  1. Smart and Skilled Provider Performance-Based Contracting and funding arrangements for the 2022-23 Activity Period
    1. Overview
    2. Sharing Outcomes and Indicators data with Providers and Students
    3. Provider Performance Assessments for the 2022-23 Activity Period
    4. High Performing Provider Applications for the 2022-23 Activity Period
  2. NSW Skills List updated – Version 12.4
    1. Updates to the NSW Skills List
    2. VTO changes affecting the NSW Skills List
  3. Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships – Applications now open
  4. Australian Government consultations on the National Foundation Skills Framework
  5. Changes to Notification of Enrolment process for full qualifications (facilitated training)
    1. New strategies available in the Notification of Enrolment process for full qualifications
  6. Training Services NSW and Smart and Skilled websites decommissioned and redirects in effect
  7. Smart and Skilled Provider Webinar held Wednesday, 13 April 2022 – Recording available
  8. Respirator Fit Testing: Principles for Students on Placements in NSW Health Facilities

For more information visit: FUNDING AND SUPPORT – SMART AND SKILLED

Or, for technical support in relation to this update, contact Training Market Customer Support at

For the Smart and Skilled – NSW Skills List visit:  NSW SKILLS LIST – SMART AND SKILLED


Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, Office of Industrial Relations, eSafe Newsletter of 28 April 2022, reports of Queensland’s first individual convicted of industrial manslaughter.

The article released by the Electrical Safety Office on 31 March 2022, states “A Gympie businessman has become the first person prosecuted and convicted under Queensland’s industrial manslaughter laws.

At a hearing in the Gympie District Court last week, Jeffrey Owen was sentenced to five years jail over a workplace incident in which his friend was crushed to death by a falling generator being moved from the back of a truck.

The prosecution, conviction and jail sentence are the first of an individual for an offence under Queensland’s industrial manslaughter laws (Section 34C of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011).

The offence occurred at Owen’s Electric Motor Rewinds in Gympie. The business, operated by Mr Owen, involved the repair and maintenance of electrical items, including generators.

The court heard Owen’s conduct caused the death of his friend in that he negligently operated the forklift.

His conduct was negligent because he was not licenced to operate a forklift and the business he ran had no documented health and safety procedures, in particular, procedures for using the forklift to unload heavy equipment.

The forklift had a lifting capacity that was inadequate for its use in unloading the generator.

The court also heard that safe, alternative methods of unloading the generator were available at low cost.”



The Government of WA’s Building energy unit reports in its 13 April 2022 media release of yet another electrical incident that resulted in a tragic electrocution.  It also resulted in the recall of a spa controller. 

The electrical incident announcement states, “Action by Western Australia’s electrical safety regulator has led to the national recall of hazardous spa components involved in the tragic death of a Perth man.

Building and Energy prohibited the sale of Spa Quip 800 and 1200 controllers shortly after the incident and has now facilitated a product safety recall because of electrocution risks during installation, servicing or repair.

The recall by the equipment supplier, Davey Water Products Pty Ltd, has been published on the Product Safety Australia website.

The supplier’s recall notice states that the controller socket’s flexibility allows a plug to be forcibly connected upside-down, which could cause an electric shock resulting in death or serious injury.

Tragically, these circumstances led to the December 2019 electrocution of a 50-year-old man in The Vines while replacing a pump for his home spa.

An investigation by Building and Energy found the plug to the pump was forced into the controller upside-down, transposing the active and earth conductors and causing the metal motor frame to become live with electricity. The spa was not connected to a protective residual current device (RCD).  …

The controller is part of the inner workings of the spa and will usually be found behind its cabinet or under nearby decking. A simple way for consumers to check if their appliance has been recalled is to compare their spa touchpad with those pictured in the recall notice.



In the latest PowerLogic newsletter issued 3 May 2022, Chris Halliday summarises a list of Electrical Incidents and Prosecutions that have ensued during the months of February to April 2022 across Australia including India.  The article states, “There has been far too many incidents for this reporting period, and these are only the ones we have been made aware of.

There were a couple of incidents involving missing MEN links, one person electrocuted in a roof space, 11 people electrocuted in one incident in India, etc, etc.

The main switch(s) should be turned off before entering roof spaces.  This is mandated in law in WA.”



Standards Australia on the draft release of AS/NZS 4836 Safe Working on or near low-voltage electrical installations.

Have your say! NECA NSW latest eNews 8/22 of 29 April 2022 reports that feedback is sought by   The article states, “The NECA member webinar series continued yesterday with NECA specialists discussing what electrical contractors need to know about the draft release of AS/NZS 4836 Safe Working on or near low-voltage electrical installations now open for public comment.

The draft has significant changes that the industry must be aware of including:

  • Increased requirements for working on or near equipment
  • Higher level requirements for PPE to minimise the risk of arc flash and blast injuries
  • Increased WH&S requirements

NECA Members can watch the detailed webinar on NECA Members Technical Knowledge Base.”




Sean Carroll, Editor at Electrical Connection reports in the 28 April 2022 edition, that the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) is looking beyond the 2022 federal election and surrounding political noise by promoting its construction legislative priorities platform for the 47th Federal Parliament to key political candidates and parties.

The article states, “Sent to all candidates in good faith, NECA has encouraged recipients to take up the recommendations to create a harmonious policy direction that will deliver meaningful legislative changes once Parliament is sworn in.

NECA’s priorities platform mirrors its federal budget submission and advises candidates on a wide range of proposed legislative changes designed to improve the electrotechnology industry by encouraging growth while maintaining Australia’s high levels of quality and compliance.

Key areas of recommended legislative change include:

  • creating local jobs for small businesses and protecting the ones we have now
  • unlocking nation-building infrastructure and renewable energy projects
  • making taxation and regulation more efficient and conducive to businesses
  • addressing labour shortages through contemporary skills development and training
  • supporting and growing mature age apprentices and female participation.

The building and construction sector is the second-biggest driver of Australia’s economy, generating over $360bn in revenue or approximately 9% of gross domestic product (GDP). The electrical and communications sector employs 170,000 workers and turns over more than $23bn annually.”



Editor, Sandra Rossi in the 27 April 2022 edition of Climate Control News (CCN) reports on the release of a third guide covering how to measure indoor air quality. 

The article states, “The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has completed its trilogy of free guides designed to help building owners and managers turn their buildings into safe havens that protect occupants from health risks linked to airborne contaminants and viruses.

The third guide called Buildings as Safe Havens – a practical guide explains how to measure Indoor Air Quality and what questions to ask ventilation experts.

The foreword is written by Professor Cath Noakes OBE, who is Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at the University of Leeds and a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

She states that poor ventilation is the most overlooked building safety issue and can be directly linked to high levels of Covid-19 transmission.

“Covid-19 has been shown to be transmitted through the air,” she writes. “Despite regulatory requirements that have been in place for a number of years. This guide will be an invaluable tool in raising awareness of the importance of good IAQ and making our buildings more infection resilient.”

The new BESA guide provides a step-by-step strategy for monitoring and maintaining good IAQ in offices, schools, and public buildings and provides advice and strategies for dealing with ventilation problems.



The Australian Pipelines and Gas Association (APGA) in the latest 2 May 2022, events service invites stakeholders and practitioners to join the upcoming Gas Vision 2050 webinar. 

In the promotion for the webinar, Energy Networks Australia (ENA) Head of Renewable Gas Dennis Van Puyvelde will give a presentation on the latest report, Gas Vision 2050: Delivering the Pathway to Net Zero Gas for Australia and give an overview of the series.

The Gas Vision 2050 series was published in April. 

Gas Vision 2050 is the gas industry’s commitment to lowering carbon emissions in line with the aims of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Repurposing existing pipelines and networks with the use of renewable hydrogen and biomethane is the best solution to reaching net-zero emissions.

Dennis will explore the pathways for decarbonising gas using either hydrogen or bio and renewable methane that are laid out in the report: Delivering the pathway to net zero for Australia. This webinar will be open for non-members as well as members so don’t delay.

Find out more and download the report

Date: Wednesday 11 May 2022

Start Time: 1230 AEST

Finish time: 1315 AEST

Cost: Free to APGA Members

RSVP: Tuesday 10 May 2022



EnergyInsider a joint weekly newsletter publication of Energy Networks Australia (ENA) and Australian Energy Council (AEC), issued 28 April 2022 explores the prospects that hydrogen in the home gas networks is closer than you think. 

The article by Dr Dennis Van Puyvelde, at Energy Networks Australia (ENA) states, “Gas networks deliver crucial energy for heating, cooking and hot water to more than five million Australian homes each year. However, as we focus on the transition to net zero, concerns are increasingly being raised about the greenhouse gas emissions from its use.

So, what if gas networks could deliver energy to households without the emissions?

Well, imagine no more.

Global advances – and Australian projects being delivered now – show this is a real option.”  …

“The HyDeploy project in the UK is a pioneering hydrogen project designed to help reduce UK CO2 emissions and reach the Government’s net zero target for 2050.

The first phase of HyDeploy is complete. This phase developed a safety case to provide a 20 per cent hydrogen blend to a dedicated gas network at Keele University. The safety case collected assets from the field and tested their performance with hydrogen blends. More than 200 assets were collected from across the UK. The general conclusion was that these assets performed at the same level with hydrogen blends as expected for natural gas. This resulted in an exemption being granted allowing blending at Keele University to commence. The trial at the university demonstrated that a 20 per cent blend can be safely delivered. The project also showed that customers didn’t notice any difference when using the hydrogen blend and that existing cooking or heating appliances could continue to be used.

The next phase is delivering a 20 per cent blend to a town in the North of England. This has been ongoing since August 2021 in Winlaton, which comprises 668 homes, a church, primary school and several small businesses. This trial will continue until mid-2022.

A 20 per cent hydrogen blend is suitable for UK appliances as the UK Gas Appliance Directive has required all appliances be tested on a blend of 23 per cent hydrogen before they can be approved for market.

In Australia, gas distribution networks are continuing to complete testing with Future Fuels CRC for network materials and components on hydrogen blends and 100 per cent hydrogen.  In Victoria, there are no constraints to gas networks providing a blend of up to 20 per cent hydrogen.”


For more, contact Dr Dennis Van Puyvelde, Energy Networks Australia


Reporter, Sophie Vorrath writes in the 2 May edition of Renew Economy of a massive, big battery and solar farm being proposed for NSW coal country. 

The article states, “Australian renewables developer Maoneng has unveiled new plans for a massive 400MW, four-hour battery, which the company hopes to build alongside a 550MW solar farm in the New South Wales Upper Hunter region, a centre for coal mining.

Maoneng, which recently gained planning approval to build what could be South Australia’s biggest battery, says the plans for the near gigawatt capacity renewable energy hub are in the first stages of the State Significant Development assessment process.

And despite having not yet submitted a development application, the company says it expects to have competed the project as early as 2025, with construction of the solar and big battery expected to take 18 months and create up to 500 full-time equivalent jobs.

The Sydney-based company wants to build the solar farm and 1600MWh battery energy storage system (BESS) on grazing land south of Merriwa, in the Upper Hunter Shire Council area, about 180km northwest of Newcastle.”



The Clean Energy Regulator has released its latest information on compliance and enforcement.  The Compliance update – 1 January to 31 March 2022 is now available.  It provides information on activities related to our Compliance and Enforcement Priorities.

The update includes:

  • details of power station accreditation suspensions following failure to submit Electricity Generation Returns by the deadline of 14 February 2022
  • details of a registered person permanently suspended after findings that they are no longer fit and proper under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 (the Act)
  • details of solar panels removed from the list of approved modules
  • details of prosecutions current and pending
  • a reference to the decision to refuse an application for an agency accredited small generation unit inspector appointment
  • a reminder that changes to Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES) came into effect on 1 April 2022
  • an update on enforceable undertakings
  • a reference to the agency refusing registrations of 2 Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project applications on the basis that the project proponent was not fit and proper.

The Clean Energy Regulator invites interested parties/persons who have information on potential fraudulent or non-compliant behaviour, to report it today.