The Greens say coal workers and communities deserve a National Energy Transition Authority in Tuesday’s budget in the wake of Queensland and Victoria announcing plans to bring forward the closure of coal-fired power plants.
Greens spokesperson on Industry, Transition and Regional Development Senator Penny Allman-Payne says the workers and community members she recently met with in the Latrobe Valley, Hunter region and her own hometown of Gladstone were unanimous in their support for the urgent establishment of a National Energy Transition Authority.
Senator Allman-Payne introduced the Greens’ National Energy Transition Authority Bill to parliament in September. It has been referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Economics which will report on 14 March next year.
Comments attributable to Greens spokesperson on Industry, Transition and Regional Development Senator Penny Allman-Payne:
“Recent announcements by Queensland and Victoria show that Australian governments are finally calling time on coal-fired power. But we can’t afford to let the transition to a renewable energy economy happen in a disjointed and haphazard way.
“We need a national body to help coordinate and fund this potentially national-building transformation. The Greens’ National Energy Transition Authority would work with communities, workers, unions, energy companies and governments at all levels to plan the pipeline of clean energy projects, and ensure a bright future for former coal workers and regional communities.
“I’ve met with many of these workers and communities and they all say the same thing. The ground is shifting rapidly under their feet, they can see the writing on the wall and they want the government to help them plan their futures.
“We know from similar energy transition bodies in Europe that if you plan the transition, workers can move into new well-paid jobs, be redeployed through industry-wide pooling or benefit from early retirement.
“The Greens are ready to negotiate with Labor to deliver a National Energy Transition Authority. We know that there is support in the Parliament for it, and we know that coal communities are keen to see it happen.
“The clock is ticking. The government needs to show that it’s listening to workers and regional communities by establishing a National Energy Transition Authority in next week’s budget.”