AMWU cautions against leaving energy transition to markets

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) warns there are dangers in leaving the renewable energy transition to the markets, amid the federal government announcing incentives towards critical mineral projects in Australia. 

“We need to burst this bubble when it comes to leaving everything to the market. We’ve seen time and time again how it leads to economic failure which often ends with disastrous consequences for all of us,” AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy says.

“Government has a bigger role to play in all of this.”

Yesterday (17 April 2024), the Albanese government announced almost $400 million in new loans to Alpha HPA (ASX:A4N) to deliver a high-purity alumina processing facility in Queensland, as well as Renascor Resources’ (ASX:RNU) Siviour Graphite Project in South Australia — as previously reported

Murphy says while this is a step in the right direction towards the Prime Minister’s vision for ‘Future Made Australia’, this must translate to local manufacturing jobs. 

“There is incredible value in securing manufacturing jobs for the Australian economy and the regions. Every Australian understands the value of Aussie made,” he says.

As this news service previously reported, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) is also calling for government changes to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC) to achieve the right balance between environment outcomes and supporting economic growth, investment, and job creation. 

The MCA says “environmental, economic, and social aspects of projects must be appropriately balanced in all decision-making.”

Murphy says Australia can become a “renewable energy superpower”, but the government must ensure workers’ job security as key to that transition. 

“Lifting the Australian economy up the value chain so that we sit alongside economies like Japan, Germany and the UK, will create good unionised jobs in manufacturing, particularly in our regions. We have a chance now to reshape our economy that benefits workers,” he says.

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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.