Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union

 

Nuclear is a dangerous distraction, Dutton pushing for a climate culture war that nobody wants

19 June 2024 – The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) condemns the Coalition’s nuclear election commitment as a dangerous distraction in our commitment to decarbonise our economy.

Today’s announcement by the Coalition proposed seven nuclear power sites covering five states across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Communities such as the Hunter in New South Wales, Gippsland in Victoria, Port Augusta in South Australia, Collie in Western Australia and Gladstone in Queensland are flagged to be affected by the plans.

These communities are best placed to benefit from Future Made in Australia but instead are now at the forefront of the Coalition’s nuclear disaster.

These regions have the potential to become manufacturing hubs supporting thousands of highly skilled, well paid jobs across the supply chain of various renewable technologies for current workers and for generations to come.

Mr Dutton claimed that the first nuclear sites would be operational between 2035 and 2037, significantly earlier than the 2040 timeframe the CSIRO and other experts believe is feasible, even with the assumption of no project delays.

Not only that, nuclear will cost twice as much as renewables supported by batteries. The AMWU argues Australians will have pay for these public assets that are costly to set up, costly to run, and costly for Australian power bills.

The AMWU firmly believes in the jobs of the future. This announcement rejects Australian aspirations to compete in the global race for these jobs.

AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy said:

“No-one except Peter Dutton and big polluters thinks nuclear is a good idea. Nuclear is a dangerous distraction that Peter Dutton is using to create another climate culture war to enable big polluters to keep polluting.”

“We have fought to decarbonise our economy in a way that ensures people in Australian regions who have powered our economy for generations can have more confidence in a secure future in new manufacturing industries.”

“By denying the climate problem, we deny workers a future. Doubling down on a ‘dig and ship’ economy will leave Australia stranded in the global race for the jobs of the future.”

“Countries around the world are taking the lead in new clean renewable technologies in establishing new industries in economies of scale, while we remain a quarry, a farm and a nice place to visit.”

“Australia can be a renewable energy superpower by building capacity in our domestic manufacturing sector, such as through manufacturing batteries, high-voltage cables, wind towers, solar panels and electric heavy vehicles.”

Media contact: Sonia Feng, 0478 599 580

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