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Workers protest outside energy future conference

Dozens of members from the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union WA Branch (AMWU) have joined the CFMEU Mining & Energy Division WA District this morning to rally against the shut out of Collie workers from the Powering the Future of WA conference.

AMWU WA State Secretary Steve McCartney said today’s conference includes guests and speakers from government, business and industry but has excluded Collie workers.

“The Collie community and workers have long demanded the implementation of a just transition in the final years of the coal mining industry so this latest exclusion is an insult to a town and workforce that has given so much to Western Australia,” he said.

“Right now we need an action plan for Collie, talk fests on WA’s energy future won’t create the changes this community needs. Words like innovation and collaboration won’t replace the jobs and apprenticeships that it will lose in an energy transition.

“While those with secure jobs are inside talking about Collie’s future, the workers whose jobs are on the line are left outside. Our members deserve to be a part of this conversation.

“Synergy’s reduced use of coal is impacting on workers right now. With Synergy flagging further reductions and with no plan for the future it’s time to listen and act rather than find new ways to talk about the issue.

“Collie is unique in that it already has a huge pool of skilled workers to start delivering new opportunities.

“That means leveraging off the back of growing industries like lithium, it means following the model of the Australian Marine Complex and building common user infrastructure in Kemerton and Picton, and it means multinational resource companies heeding the Premier’s demand to build infrastructure locally,” Mr McCartney said.

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