Government investment in renewable industries offer huge job creation opportunities for Australian manufacturing said the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union today.
Responding to the release of the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme, and a initial commitment of a 5% reduction by 2020, AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver said a lot more could be done to create jobs through renewable industries, which will provide economic benefit as well as addressing climate change proactively.
“It is clear that we must act to address climate change to protect our way of life for future generations,” said Mr. Oliver.
“With the global economic crisis and the rise in manufacturing job losses we need a sustainable, long-term solutions to both climate change and our fossil-fuel dependence.
“Research shows there are opportunities to generate tens of thousands of jobs in environmentally sustainable industries. This is the future of Australia’s manufacturing industry.
“Without adequate Government support, the transition to greener industries will not provide the quality new jobs and the substantial economic returns which will provide for future generations.
“The Rudd government’s $1.4 billion investment back into the community to subsidise energy-saving investments by small business and community organisations is a good start.
“The government should also be investing in the communities that are most affected by shifting to a less greenhouse-intensive economy and in environmentally beneficial and job intensive programs such as retro-fitting of commercial and residential properties.
“The competitive program to drive innovation must be directed towards managing the transition from reliance on fossil-fuel industries to sustainable alternatives.
“The way forward must now be to set strong commitments to investing in renewable energy and production and Mandatory Renewable Energy targets.
“Making the shift to a low-carbon future in Australia does not have to leave the economy or workers worse off, and in fact, by proactively committing to renewable industries we will make this transition easier,” said Mr Oliver.