The Illawarra should be at the forefront of developing hydrogen as a cleaner option for energy, and locating a "hub" here could create 11,000 jobs, Regional Development Australia's local branch has told the NSW Government.
And unlike most of the 56 hydrogen-related projects identified by the CSIRO, only four are currently operating - while Port Kembla had a 30-year history in hydrogen generation through the Coregas manufacturing facility, RDA Illawarra said.
RDA Illawarra has teamed up with its Sydney counterpart for a joint submission to the NSW Government's State Development Committee which is conducting an inquiry into the industry's future.
The submission said the Illawarra was well placed with nearly 70 per cent of the requirements for a successful hydrogen industry - and the rest could be be delivered within three years. And it said based on available "feedstock", the region had the capacity to produce 1,500 tonnes of hydrogen a day.
"This advanced readiness places the Illawarra at the forefront for selection as a Hydrogen Hub within the National Hydrogen Strategy," RDA Illawarra CEO Debra Murphy said.
"Port Kembla has all the ingredients to support the Hydrogen Hub. We are well equipped to keep developing the skills and industry that already exist here whilst providing further economic opportunities in the region."
She said if transformative hydrogen projects were delivered through the Hub, it could "enable major capital investment and create over 11,000 jobs in the Illawarra region".
Ms Murphy urged the committee to hold a hearing in the Illawarra.