Release type: Media Release


New recycling and clean energy hub to boost jobs and skills across Australia


Senator the Hon Anthony Chisholm
Assistant Minister for Education
Assistant Minister for Regional Development

Assistant Minister for Education, Anthony Chisholm will officially launch the inaugural showcase for a new recycling and clean energy hub in Sydney today which will support more than 5,000 regional jobs and boost the Australian economy by up to $15 billion over the next 20 years.

The $280 million Trailblazer for Recycling and Clean Energy (TRaCE) is a collaboration between the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle and industry partners to support Australia’s transition to net zero by 2050. 

Assistant Minister Chisholm said the Australian Government was providing $50 million in funding for TRaCE to help accelerate the commercialisation of research in this field and deliver the skills needed to establish Australia as a clean energy superpower.

“TRaCE’s projects will help Australia and the world find new and effective ways to transition to sustainable recycling and clean energy solutions and systems,” Assistant Minister Chisholm said.

“This important work is already underway with SMaRT (UNSW Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology) and TRaCE partnering with aluminium manufacturer Jamestrong to commercialise advanced recycling technology into its manufacturing process at their plant in Taree.

“The project will revolutionise aluminium manufacturing and recycling in Australia, and establish Jamestrong as one of the first aluminium aerosol can producers in the world to use recycled content, including waste currently not recycled because it contains mixed materials.”

Assistant Minister Chisholm said TRaCE would benefit a number of regional communities across Australia, with regionally based projects including green ceramic creation in the NSW South Coast region, storage assets in Queensland, and solar projects across northwest Victoria.

Supported by TRaCE, Kardinia Energy and the University of Newcastle are leading a project to build the world’s first printed solar manufacturing facility, which is a promising potential form of energy generation that is low-cost and sustainable.

Kardinia Energy CEO, Anthony Letmon said the scalability and economic viability of printed solar manufacturing presents a real opportunity to help people around the world access electricity and clean cooking fuels.

“770 million people don't have access to electricity, and three billion people don't have access to clean cooking fuels. The scalability and economic viability of printed solar manufacturing will help us tackle this issue,” Mr Letmon said. 

“With the support from TRaCE to build a printed solar manufacturing facility, we'll employ Australian graduates to manufacture printed solar modules on a commercial scale for the first time. The facility's successful operation will mark the final step before this product can enter the market." 

TRaCE is one six projects to receive $50 million as part of the $370.3 million Trailblazer Universities Program, with $45 million also supporting the universities to partner with the CSIRO. 

More information is available here.