The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has welcomed the ALP’s announcement of its climate change policy.
The AMWU has long argued that climate change is not only a huge risk to Australia’s future prosperity, but also an opportunity for the modernisation of industry and the development of new industries to support the transition to a low carbon economy.
“Australia has some of the best renewable resources in the world, including solar, wind, wave and geo-thermal,” said AMWU National Secretary Paul Bastian.
“We have also been at the forefront of developing the technology that transforms these resources into energy, industries and jobs,” Mr Paul Bastian said.
“But we’re missing out on the opportunities because of a lack of bipartisan agreement about tackling climate change.”
“You just need to look at what the Liberal government has done to climate change research at the CSIRO to know they don’t see climate change as a real challenge or opportunity.”
Mr Bastian said Labor’s plan included an ambitious 50% renewable energy target by 2030 and a broad based and internationally linked carbon price in the economy, both of which the AMWU have consistently called for.
Labor’s policy also includes significant measures to help industry make the transition and to ensure we see more and better jobs as a result, instead of seeing some industries and regions being left to fend for themselves.
“The commitment of Labor to establish a Strategic Industries Task Force backed by a $300 million to assist industry in adopting new low carbon technologies is a big step in the right direction of positive industry policy backing the transition of the economy. It’s a welcome development and we’d like to see more of this type of support.”
“This policy acknowledges the fact that the government has a key role to play in this transition, especially when it comes to making sure our industrial base and the jobs it supports end up being more productive and competitive. We look forward to working with the ALP to make sure the Strategic Industries Task Force works as well as possible and to ensure trade and energy exposed industries get the support they need,” Mr Bastian said.
Mr Bastian said Labor’s plan was a huge change from the Coalition’s policy, which saw a collapse in renewable investment of 70% in the first year of the Abbott Government and has seen over 5,000 renewable energy jobs lost since 2012. At the same time global renewable energy jobs have grown to almost 8 million.
“If we’re going to take advantage of our huge opportunities, we need clear, certain and bipartisan agreement of how we transition our economy.,” Mr Bastian said.
“We call on the Liberal party to drop their inefficient, ineffective and costly Direct Action policy and embrace real policies that will get us where we need to be.”
Media contact John Hill 0412197079