MEDIA RELEASE: Monday May 21, 2018
The Electrical Trades Union of Australia welcomes the news that AGL remains committed to securing the future of its 300 workers when it goes ahead with the closure and repurposing of the Liddell power station.
The ETU also commends AGL Energy for not giving in to the two-faced Turnbull Government’s bullying as it proceeds with the Liddell power plant’s decommissioning in 2022.
AGL has made the right call in deciding to repurpose the Liddell site for battery storage, pumped hydro storage and gas turbine energy production without abandoning its workers in the process.
ETU National Secretary Allen Hicks said AGL has acknowledged that Australia’s energy market is adapting to renewables despite Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg’s refusal to accept this reality.
“AGL Energy is doing the right thing in choosing to transition to the technologies that will be powering Australia through the 21st Century,” Mr Hicks said.
“It appears at this stage that AGL has struck the right balance in securing the future of jobs in the power industry as it goes through the revolution from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
“Coal will certainly continue to play a role in Australia’s energy production and the steel industry for some time, but the evidence is clear that the jobs are moving into renewables.
“Josh Frydenberg and Malcolm Turnbull need to leave Tony Abbott and his views in the 19th Century and catch up to Australia’s power industry and the rest of the world.
“Unions and the industry want secure jobs for decades to come, but Frydenberg thinks he can bully us into propping up energy technology that is fast becoming obsolete,” the National Secretary said.
Mr Hicks said the union was pleased AGL Energy will stick to its commitment to its workers and not back out of the pledge of no forced redundancies for the 300 workers at the plant.
“AGL is right now showing leadership in how it is embracing industry change without neglecting the livelihoods of workers. Australia’s business leaders should take note,” he said.
“We truly welcome that AGL currently remains committed to helping its 300 workers transition to the Bayswater power plant or the revamped Liddell without forcing any of them into redundancy.
“AGL’s current support for a just transition for workers should be the norm, not the exception, in corporate Australia,” Mr Hicks said.
ETU National Secretary – Allen Hicks
0419 721 037, [email protected]