ACTU urges Nationals to back climate change laws

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ACTU urges Nationals to back climate change laws

The ACTU has accused the National Party of voting against the creation of thousands of new jobs for regional Australia in its decision to reject the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

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The ACTU has accused the National Party of voting against the creation of thousands of new jobs for regional Australia in its decision to reject the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
 
The National Party has said it is against any emissions trading scheme as part of the fight against global warning.
 
Senators Barnaby Joyce and Ron Boswell are vehemently opposed to emissions trading (as is Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey), saying it would cost jobs in traditional jobs like mining.
 
Deferral sought
 
Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull is trying to have the legislation introducing the CPRS deferred when it comes into Parliament next month.
 
ACTU president Sharan Burrow said the National's stance ‘reveals a complete lack of understanding about the investment, industries and jobs that will flow from putting this vital piece of legislation in place’.
 
‘Regional Australia will be the major beneficiary of a raft of new public and private initiatives.'
 
‘Two hundred renewable energy projects generating at least 26,000 jobs are already in the pipeline, according to the latest research by energy sector consultants McLennan Magasanik Associates.'
 
Solar projects
 
‘This includes solar projects in Mildura, Broken Hill and remote Queensland, geo-thermal trials in South Australia and wind turbine installations across a number of states.’
 
Burrow said the CPRS is a critical piece of machinery that will ensure business confidence, drive research and direct millions of dollars of new investment into these projects and jobs, as Australia makes the transition to a low carbon economy.
 
‘The figures show a potential national investment worth $32 billion,’ she said.
 
‘The National's unsubstantiated claim that the CPRS will destroy jobs flies in the face of reality.'
 
Resources jobs up by 120%
 
‘In Queensland alone, the report released last week by the Minerals Council of Australia shows that jobs will grow in the resources sector by 120% over the next 20 years. Gas will be a big jobs base for Queensland.
 
‘The CPRS will also provide the means to retain and grow jobs in traditional industries such as steel and aluminum that are providing products for clean technologies.’
 
Burrow said the National's ‘obstinate and ill-informed opposition’ to the CPRS not only holds up job creation and Australian investment in renewable energy but fails to take responsibility for international leadership for a strong agreement in our own interest at [the UN negotiations in] Copenhagen later this year.
 
Erratic weather patterns
 
‘The devastating impact of climate change is illustrated by the increasingly erratic weather patterns affecting large parts of rural and regional Australia in recent times,’ she said.
 
‘If Australia is prevented by the Coalition parties [from] acting quickly and constructively to combat climate change, the cost of their inaction and delay will come down hard on Australia’s farming community, as the environment deteriorates further.'
 
‘Seventy-seven per cent of Australians say the Coalition should pass the CPRS. It is time for the Nationals to listen.’
 
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