Western Australia is the world's leading producer of lithium and is uniquely placed to capitalise on the rising growth of battery use and technologies.
There is enormous potential to increase downstream processing of lithium and other energy materials in WA, creating long-term job opportunities for Western Australians.
The taskforce will oversee development of a Lithium and Energy Materials Strategy to build on WA's competitive advantages, and to develop a world-leading energy materials industry that maximises benefits to Western Australia and creates jobs.
It will be chaired by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum and will consist of senior government representatives. The taskforce will engage with key companies and will be informed by an industry stakeholder reference group.
It is expected the taskforce will present recommendations to the State Government within six months.
As part of the State Budget, the McGowan Labor Government announced $5.5 million in provisional funding to the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), to support development and manufacturing of technology metals and renewable energy sources.
MRIWA will invest the funds, if successful, in its bid to establish a New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in WA.
The New Energy Industry CRC's objective will be to create value, through industry-led research, and drive global demand for local products, services and solutions.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The availability of lithium and other energy materials in Western Australia creates a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our State.
"My Government is committed to the development of this industry to boost our economy and create long-term jobs for Western Australians.
"The taskforce will do the work, in consultation with industry, to ensure our State is front and centre in production of battery technologies, and will also work to make sure these materials can be processed here in WA to maximise local jobs."
Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston:
"Lithium-ion batteries are among the most popular batteries in use today.
"Western Australia possesses all the elements required to produce these batteries such as lithium, nickel, graphite and cobalt, meaning we are in the box seat to capitalise on the growth of this industry.
"This isn't just about extracting resources from the ground. It's also about processing them here in WA to create jobs for Western Australians.
"We are determined to make the most of the opportunity, and the taskforce will set out a clear plan to establish Western Australia as a world leader in this industry."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Mines and Petroleum Minister's office - 6552 6700