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News Media Releases UnionsWA welcomes action on climate change
UnionsWA welcomes action on climate change
Monday, 11 July 2011 09:10

UnionsWA has welcomed the Federal Government’s carbon tax announcement as a necessary and timely step towards a cleaner, low carbon economy.

Simone McGurk said that failing to act now would be irresponsible and would likely result in job losses further down the track. “Failure to take decisive action now will mean we’re forced to make rapid and drastic changes further down the track which will put jobs at risk. By acting now we are giving industry the chance to move to low emissions technologies and to plan ahead which is essential in order to protect jobs.”

“WA unions accept the overwhelming evidence that our climate is changing as a result of human activity and we understand that failure to act on this information will jeopardise our own standard of living as well as that of our children and grandchildren. For that reason, UnionsWA welcomes today’s announcement and will work with union members and with the government and industry in order to ensure that the transition to a lower carbon economy is successful.”

“In taking decisive action now we’re confident that the Government has done the right thing by WA workers.”

Gary Wood, the head of the CFMEU mining division in WA, has welcomed the Government’s commitment to work with the coal industry and stressed the importance of industry being willing to adapt and to work with unions and the government to manage change. “Looking at the scheme I’m confident that the coal industry will be given the assistance it needs in order to ensure jobs are protected.

“The coal industry has been running around telling anyone who’ll listen that the sky is about to fall in and that is just untrue and very disappointing. We know we need to reduce our emissions as a nation and we need to work together to manage the transition to cleaner technologies in our industries to ensure our economy remains strong and that jobs are protected.”

Ms McGurk said the announcement today was good news for job creation in WA. “By taking action to drive investment in renewable energy, WA workers will be in a strong position to capitalise on WA’s enormous renewable energy potential. With renewable energy industries becoming more competitive under a carbon price, we expect to see considerable job growth in these industries in WA.”

Modelling commissioned by the ACTU and the Australian Conservation Foundation estimates that an additional 770,000 jobs could be created across the Australian economy by 2030.

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