26 October 2022 –
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has welcomed measures in the Albanese Government’s first budget aimed at boosting domestic rail manufacturing and a Just Transition for workers and communities in traditional energy and mining industries.
The Government has committed to establish a Net Zero Transition Taskforce, composed of unions, local communities, industry, and state and territory governments, which will advise the Government on how to ensure traditional energy and mining workers and communities benefit from the transition to renewables.
$14.2 million has also been allocated over four years to develop a National Rail Manufacturing Plan that will ensure more trains are built in Australia, support skilled manufacturing and expand the local rail industry.
Comments attributable to AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy:
“The new Net Zero Transition Taskforce is a good first step in giving workers and communities affected by the energy transition a sense of security about their futures. If the Federal Government wants to meet its commitment of 82% renewables in the grid by 2030, it’s imperative that this work begins quickly, and that workers are driving the transition from the very beginning.
“The transition from fossil fuels to renewables cannot be driven by private capital. Workers and communities must have seats at the table, and control over the process. We have an enormous opportunity to turn regions like the Hunter in NSW, Collie in Western Australia and the Latrobe Valley in Victoria into renewable energy powerhouses, creating thousands of secure, well-paid jobs in communities that have been keeping the lights on for more than 100 years.
“It’s very welcome news that the Albanese Government is prioritising the local rail manufacturing industry. We’re looking forward to working with the Government to make sure Australian rail manufacturing workers benefit from the National Rail Manufacturing Plan to the fullest possible extent.
“We’re keen to build on that commitment so that all forms of public transport – not just trains – are built in Australia. Our transport manufacturing workers are some of the best in the world. It makes no sense for governments to buy train carriages and trams from overseas, especially when they keep breaking down, cracking or come with major safety flaws. Nothing that looks like a train, tram, bus or ferry should be coming off ships from elsewhere.”