Victoria’s fast-tracked targets for renewable energy and emissions reduction demonstrate the urgent need for a national Energy Transition Authority to support workers and communities affected by rapid economic change, the Mining and Energy Union (MEU) said today.
MEU General President Tony Maher said today’s announcement in Victoria was just the latest in a series of developments around the country affecting the timetable for closure of coal-fired power.
“State Governments and industry are making decisions about emissions reduction that will have a profound effect on communities in the years and decades ahead,” he said.
“The scale and complexity of the change can’t be left to businesses and to states to manage alone. We need an overarching plan to co-ordinate closures, drive real industry diversification in energy regions and develop industry-wide schemes to support workers through this profound technological and economic change.
“We are seeing significant announcements about emissions reduction and industry transformation every other week and we can’t wait any longer for a serious, national policy response.
“The workers and communities who have powered Australia for decades deserve a place at the centre of policy-making at this time of rapid change. Announcements about job creation must be underpinned by genuine planning and commitment to ensure that affected workers in regions like the Latrobe Valley have a pathway into future employment.
“The next step should be a national Energy Transition Authority that can work co-operatively with state and regional bodies to plan and support a fair and orderly transition.”