Showcase WA | Prime Minister of Australia
I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging.
I am proud to lead a Government that will give every Australian the opportunity to vote for constitutional recognition through a Voice, in a referendum later this year.
To all our distinguished Western Australian guests, welcome to Parliament House.
Before the last election, I made a commitment to visit Western Australia 10 times in my first year in office.
I’m pleased that as Prime Minister I hit the mark ahead of schedule – and have now visited 14 times in 14 months. We’ve packed a lot in.
TAFEs, child care centres, METRONET and new energy projects, hosting the Japanese Prime Minister, the Derby at Optus and – of course – Telethon.
But Western Australia is much more than Perth – which is why I’ve been to Fitzroy Crossing, Albany, Broome and Kalgoorlie, as well as bringing the whole of our Cabinet to Port Hedland.
I’m grateful for every chance I have to get to Western Australia and I’m delighted that this week Showcase WA is bringing the best of the West to Canberra.
Speaking of the best in the West, I acknowledge all my WA Labor Caucus members.
This Showcase reflects the wealth of opportunity and the world of potential in Western Australia.
And it captures a profoundly Western Australian optimism and determination to shape the future, rather than waiting for the future to shape us.
For decades, the innovation and enterprise on show in this room has been vital to the health and strength of our national economy.
And your state has also been pivotal to the transformation of our entire region.
The fastest-growing economies in human history have all been helped on their way by Western Australia.
And yet, even as we celebrate this record of achievement, we know the real prize is the future.
In 2023, our nation stands on the threshold of a transformative moment: a global energy transition more significant than the industrial revolution.
The scale of the demand – and the size of the opportunity is phenomenal.
By 2030, global battery demand will require the equivalent of 50 new lithium mines, 60 new nickel mines and 17 new cobalt mines, worldwide.
The world needs Australian lithium and nickel and cobalt and other critical minerals – and WA has them in abundance.
And the world also needs Australian jobs and skills and technology and expertise.
Exporting resources will always be important to Australia’s success – but our long-term prosperity will also depend on our capacity to value-add, to diversify, to move our nation up the international value chain.
Designing and refining the clean energy technology that will see Western Australia and Australia lead the world in the transition to Net Zero.
Being recognised not just as a wonderful place to visit but also a regional and global leader in skills and higher education, in innovation and productivity.
And of course in the years ahead, Western Australia will be essential to our national security, as well as our national prosperity.
The AUKUS agreement our Government announced earlier this year in San Diego has the workers, skills and ship-building of Western Australia right at its heart.
I’ve always been an optimist about Australia’s future and as Prime Minister, Western Australia is central to that optimism.
When you look around this room, it’s easy to see why.