Australian news, and some related international items

Working people benefit from Labort’s energy policy

Labor’s energy policy an Australian first in supporting workers TONY MAHER THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 30, 2015 There was an important Australian first in the electricity and climate change policy passed by Labor’s national conference on the weekend, and it had nothing to do with the renewable energy target or emissions trading schemes. Frankly, it had nothing to do with climate change.

It was the first time an Australian political party has got serious about designing a plan to support electricity workers and their communities with the transition from a coal-fired electricity system to a future where renewables play an increasing role in powering our homes and workplaces……….

So Labor’s plan for the electricity sector is an Australian first. It establishes a dedicated agency to manage any transition and oversee redeployment, retraining and income support. This has budget implications but it is the only way forward.

We need a clear industry adjustment package and workforce plan. The approach to retraining and redeployment requires a serious analysis of growth industries where energy and mining workers’ skills are transferable, combined with government intervention and financial support to help individual workers make a transition.

With thermal electricity plants closing one by one, we need a clear focus on redeploying workers to jobs in the energy and mining sector, including to remaining plants with continuous vacancies due to their age profile………

Labor’s electricity modernisation strategy announced on Saturday charts the way forward. It is designed to manage necessary industry restructure and support workers and their communities, while reducing emissions. It deserves broad support but, make no mistake, if Labor in government doesn’t deliver for workers, we will wage a concerted campaign to get what has been promised.

Tony Maher is national president of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union

August 1, 2015 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, energy, politics

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