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Labor has the right plan for the future of our industry

Allen Hicks

Bill Shorten will do what's needed to get action on climate change, and what's right for our members. 

Chaotic. There is no other way to describe the past six years of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government. And nowhere has the chaos been more obvious than the Liberal-Nationals’ failure to enact even a basic energy and climate policy.

As late as last week, the Liberals were floating a new energy policy, its 14th since coming to power. But the thought-bubble from “Fantastic. Great Move. Well Done Angus” Taylor  was burst by experts almost as soon as it was floated.

The legacy of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government will be one of failure. While there is much to say about its woeful record, our time would be better spent looking at the plans the future Shorten Labor Government has for Australia and why they make sense for our union and industry.

First and foremost, Labor accepts that climate change is happening, and that burning fossil fuels is contributing to it in a big way.

After decades of resistance and disinformation campaigns, the energy industry is coming around to this fact too. There are plenty of hold outs, but we are seeing more corporations accepting the climate science and preparing for the transition to renewables in the post-carbon economy.

Three out of four of Australia’s coal-fired power stations are operating beyond their design life. The workers at these plants, many of them our members, deserve a plan for what comes next when the inevitable happens and the plants close.

Last November, Bill Shorten, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Shadow Energy and Climate Minister Mark Butler set out the ALP plan for Australia to move into a renewable energy future, which included plans for a Just Transition Authority that will assist our members, their families and their communities adapt to Australia’s post-carbon economy.

This is an incredible opportunity for our members and other workers in the energy sector with up to 70,000 jobs being created and opportunities for young people opened up through the $75 million going to renewable energy jobs training.

Labor also laid out a $10 billion clean energy package and a commitment to invest in battery storage for 100,000 homes as well as the construction of 10 community power hubs in suburbs across Australia.

It’s also committed up to $1 billion in finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to rollout of the Solar Schools program at 4000 schools.

READ MORE: 

Why we're backing Bill Shorten and Labor

Our members and Australians deserve a government that takes Climate Change seriously

The time for action on Climate Change was yesterday. The time for a Just Transition is now

There is also $200 million allocated to kick-start Electric Vehicle infrastructure in Australia, a sector we have been falling behind on due current government’s the lack of planning and leadership.

These policies, enacted under a Bill Shorten-led Labor Government, will give our industry the certainty and direction that has been absent for much of the past decade while also reducing our carbon emissions.

These policies will benefit our members and ensure there are job opportunities in the decades ahead as we continue along our transition to the post-carbon, renewable-energy future.

Most importantly, these policies will show our children and grandchildren that when faced with a choice between embracing change and doing nothing, we did the right thing.

That’s why we’re encouraging our members to back Labor at this election because Labor is backing us and the future of our industry and our planet.

 


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