Richard Mann appointed specialist officer to help get Oakajee hydrogen hub off the ground

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
WA Regional Development and Ports minister Alannah MacTiernan discusses plans for a renewable hydrogen industry at Oakajee with Chapman Valley Shire president Anthony Farrell and chief executive Maurice Battilana.
Camera IconWA Regional Development and Ports minister Alannah MacTiernan discusses plans for a renewable hydrogen industry at Oakajee with Chapman Valley Shire president Anthony Farrell and chief executive Maurice Battilana. Credit: Geoff Vivian The Geraldton Guardian

A former Geraldton resident has been appointed to help realise Oakajee’s potential to become a renewable hydrogen powerhouse for the State.

After failing to get off the ground for decades, the proposal to develop an export-based renewable hydrogen industry out of Oakajee has now received at least 65 expressions of interest.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Johnstaff principal and former Mid West local Richard Mann would create a strategy to guide the next stage of the Oakajee project.

Mr Mann will return to WA to develop the plan over the next three months, drawing on experience and talent which has seen him work on Optus Stadium, Perth Children’s Hospital, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA Museum Boola Bardip, and other major projects for the State.

Ms MacTiernan said Mr Mann’s appointment was an important step forward for the long-awaited development of the Oakajee site.

“This is a very talented and able person that is going to be focusing on mapping out to us precisely how this project will unfold and to work out what the Government investment will be,” she said.

“Now we have had a look at what people are saying they are prepared to do and what they need, we now then need to map out the process we need to activate the precinct.

“We want (Mr Mann) to be delivering a plan, certainly, by the last quarter ... we would be hoping to have that around October.”

Ms MacTiernan said the State Government would continue to work on delivering its $7.5m election commitment to install road infrastructure to improve access at Oakajee.

“Main Roads has now indicated they want to change the location of the road ... so we are just now doing an analysis on which actually is the best place to put the road,” she said.

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