ABU DHABI, TGO: President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan would make the UAE a global technology leader, Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley told the Emirates News Agency (WAM), adding that “Australia would be part and parcel of that progress.”
“I think the most important thing we will see in his [His Highness Sheikh Mohamed’s] term as president is the UAE moving from dependence on fossil fuels to a whole range of different technologies. I think he wants to be a technology leader in this region and globally, and to build a long-term sustainable future for the UAE that is not dependent on fossil fuels,” he said.
Australia to be part of UAE’s progress
In an exclusive interview with WAM at the Australian Ambassador’s residence in the capital, Hurley added that the achievements made by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed so far “are going to grow and broaden and Australia would be part and parcel of that progress. I think, for both countries it is going to be a great benefit.”
He was in Abu Dhabi to meet His Highness Sheikh Mohamed, congratulated him on being elected as President of the UAE and offered condolences on the passing of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Governor-General of Australia is representative of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth the Second. In practice, they are Australia’s Head of State and have a range of constitutional and ceremonial duties. The Governor-General is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force.
Abraham Accords, wisdom on changing world
The Governor-General said he has met His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on many occasions “and I found him very considered and calm. His questions are always well-thought through and to the point.”
“Abraham Accords [the deal that normalised diplomatic ties with Israel] shows a great deal of wisdom and understanding of how the world is changing and he [Sheikh Mohamed] has a leadership role with the UAE in that [changing world],” Hurley emphasised.
He remembered Sheikh Khalifa as a man of great vision. “That’s very evident in the way he led the development of the UAE during his lifetime. I think he’s been transformative. Sheikh Zayed laid the foundation for the UAE and Sheikh Khalifa built on that, opened the UAE up to the world, gave it an international voice and an international standing. So, I think he built a tremendous platform for the UAE to come to what it is today.”
Cooperation in advanced technologies, industries
Hurley said both countries can work together in advanced technologies. “There are a number of areas, especially space technology and renewables – the industries that are growing and we share similar desires and ambitions in that area, and we have similar technologies. So, there’s many areas in which we can cooperate to help each other.”
The Governor-General said developing waste-to-energy complexes is a potential area of cooperation and such projects will be opened in Australia under partnership between companies from both countries.
As WAM reported earlier, Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, and Tribe Infrastructure Group, an infrastructure advisory and development firm, announced a joint venture to develop energy-from-waste (EfW) projects across Australia, as well as to support the delivery and management of these projects.
In January 2020, Masdar and Tribe announced that they had acquired a 40 percent stake in the East Rockingham Waste to Energy project in Perth, Western Australia. Construction on the A$511 million greenfield facility, which is located in the Rockingham Industry Zone, 40 kilometers south of Perth, is ongoing and the plant is expected to be operational in late 2022.
Prior to being Governor-General, David Hurley had a distinguished in the defence force. Later he served as the 38th Governor of New South Wales from October 2014 – May 2019.
Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.
David Hurley was born in Wollongong, New South Wales in 1953. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store.