Strong, united and growing! ETU National Officers Conference 2023

100 ETU and CEPU officials from all over Australia came together in September for the National Officers Conference to share knowledge and discuss ways to improve the lives of electrical workers, their families and their communities.

Key focuses of the conference included how to boost Union membership in the renewables sector to improve wages and working conditions, why it was important to get behind the Yes vote for the referendum on a Voice to Parliament and going through the details of the Albanese Government’s changes to workplace laws.

The conference kicked off with highlights from every ETU and CEPU branch around the country. Our Union is strong, united and growing – and together we are tackling the challenges of the energy transition and ensuring that this growing sector is creating well-paid, secure union jobs, with great conditions.

Renewable energy

ETU National Assistant Secretary Trevor Gauld spoke about Australia’s need to “get in the game or get left behind” in the global race to reduce emissions but also harness all the opportunities this transition can bring for workers and communities. If we get this right, we can build the future we want to live in, with good secure jobs at the core.

We’re facing a workforce shortage like never before, not just in every state and nationally, but globally as the world races to net zero emissions and electrifies the homes, businesses and infrastructure to make it happen. We need many more apprentices and many more women to take up the trade, and we’re advocating wherever we can to attract more people to our trade and our Union.


ETU National Secretary Michael Wright gave a political update sharing the wins that the ETU has had by advocating hard on behalf of members to political representatives. We’ve advanced members rights in industrial relations, a Just Transition to renewable energy and restored rights to members in the construction industry. The Albanese Government has made some good progress since coming to power last year, but there’s still a lot more to do especially in the energy and trades training spaces.

Industrial relations

ETU National legal gun Cassandra Taylor explained the recent updates in the complex world of industrial law to ETU officials from every state and territory at the National Officer’s Conference.

These changes to workers’ rights and conditions were brought in by the Albanese Government in two stages with a third to be voted on in Parliament in February 2024.

It was a fantastic three days of discussion, ideas and solidarity from all corners of our nation. Organisers, officials and delegates shared their experiences and knowledge with each other to strengthen our fight nationally.

We’re lucky to have a powerful membership of over 60,000 and only growing bigger and stronger!

As ETU National Secretary Michael wright said:

“Our future is bright, because our future is lit by the ETU.”

This article was publised on 20 September 2023.