26 October 2023 –
The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) has welcomed the expansion of the Albanese Government’s Critical Minerals Facility as an important first step that will significantly boost Australia’s green manufacturing sector and assist the nation in meeting its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
In Washington D.C on Tuesday, Prime Minister Albanese and Minister for Resources Madeleine King announced that the Australian Government’s Critical Minerals Facility, a fund designed to ‘drive investment in the sector and to move Australia up the international value chain in critical minerals, energy and manufacturing’, would be increased from $2 billion to $4 billion.
AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy welcomed the announcement as a downpayment on the Australian Government’s investment in green manufacturing and energy transition.
“The AMWU welcomes the Albanese Government’s decision to increase its investment in the Critical Minerals Facility to $4 billion, funds that will unlock investment in the extraction and processing of rare earth minerals invaluable to energy transition, including the manufacture of lithium batteries.
“We welcome the Government’s ambition to expand Australia’s role beyond the extraction of critical minerals to domestic processing, local manufacturing, and value-adding so that the nation can fully benefit from these minerals' significant value.
Mr Murphy said that a key element of ensuring that the Australian people realised the full benefits of this crucial investment is ensuring that the minerals projects funded delivered good, secure, unionised jobs for local communities.
“Providing safe, secure and high-quality unionised jobs is the best way to guarantee that the immense benefits of the coming critical minerals boom are shared with local communities across Australia.
“Investment in this highly skilled unionised workforce will also provide a solid foundation upon which further investment in green manufacturing projects, such as the expansion of the lithium battery manufacturing sector and the production of electric vehicles, can be soundly based.
“The massive expansion of the nation’s green manufacturing sector, led by the Australian Government, will not only ensure that Australia can meet its commitment to reach net zero by 2050 but through the products we produce, it will assist many other countries to reduce their emissions.
“The AMWU welcomes the expansion of the Critical Minerals Facility and looks forward to further Australian Government initiatives which will help to drive investment in green manufacturing and energy transition in the near future.”