A new ‘hydrogen highway’ agreement has been signed by NSW, Queensland and Victoria. 

In a concerted renewables push for the transport industry, the eastern states have agreed to a new collaboration worth an estimated $20 million.

The funds should see four massive hydrogen refuelling stations built between Sydney and Melbourne. 

The new infrastructure on Australia’s busiest freight routes will link the Hume Highway, the Pacific Highway and the Newell Highway by 2026.

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean says it is a major step toward decarbonisation of the heavy transport industry.

“Renewable hydrogen will increasingly become a competitive zero emissions fuel option for our heavy transport sector, giving our trucking industry the opportunity to decarbonise their fleets,” Mr Kean said.

Queensland Energy Minister Mick De Brenni said as well as reducing emissions, the new deal will help Australia’s energy independence. 

“When you consider the impacts of the COVID pandemic and international conflicts, it’s clear Australia must achieve energy independence,” he said.

Victorian Energy and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the “historic collaboration” between the states “will revolutionise Australia’s busiest freight corridor, lighting a pathway to a zero-emissions transport sector”.

The will also be used to back Australia’s first long-haul hydrogen fuel cell electric freight trucks.