Morrison Government’s failure to sign Silesia Declaration an embarrassing abandonment of workers and the Pacific region

Nicholas McCallum

MEDIA RELEASE: Thursday 6 December, 2018

The Morrison Government is failing Australia’s energy workers and abandoning its international responsibility by refusing to sign the Silesia Declaration at the COP24 meeting in Poland.

Britain’s Conservative prime minister, as well as leaders of our regional partners New Zealand and Fiji, are among the 37 signatories that have endorsed the Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration, which aims to take action on climate change while maintaining economic development and conversion for fossil-fuel industry workers.

Electrical Trades Union National Policy Officer Trevor Gauld said it was embarrassing that Australia was not party to the accord because Liberal Party infighting keeps killing every attempt at basic energy policies.

“Liberal Party chaos and the Morrison Government’s lack of a national energy policy has now spilled into the international arena,” Mr Gauld said.

“The Liberal and National Party dinosaurs are maintaining their addiction to high polluting, higher cost industries while the rest of the world is getting on with implementing plans for the inevitable transition to renewable energy sources.

“The Morrison Government pretends to be a leader in the Pacific region but in reality, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern is showing how a leader acts when they are truly concerned about the damage the changing climate will have on our neighbours.

“Even the UK’s Tory leader Theresa May has signed on to this accord, which shows it’s not a matter of left or right politics but something humanity can and must deal with together.”

Mr Gauld said there was some hope for Australia and energy workers after the Labor Party announced plans to create a Just Transition Authority under a Shorten Government as part of its energy policy last month.

“Australia needs a government that puts workers’ interests ahead of donors from the mining and energy sector, and coal-fired power communities need a government that will take a just transition seriously,” he said.

“The Turnbull Government was against having a just transition clause in the Paris Agreement and the Morrison Government is embarrassingly absent still with the signing of the Silesia Declaration.

“Australian workers want a government that is prepared to face up to the reality of climate change and one that will implement a Just Transition for coal reliant communities instead of leaving them on the scrap heap.

“It’s time to put jobs, the economy and the planet above party politics.”

Media enquiries: ETU National Communications Coordinator – Nicholas McCallum

0419 499 886, nicholas@etuaustralia.org.au


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