The passing of the Clean Energy Future legislation through the Senate today marks the beginning of a new era of economic reform for Australia.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said workers, communities and businesses now have certainty and can plan for the future.

“We believe that this package looks after workers, their families as well as their communities, which unions fought hard to ensure.” She said

“This legislation will help restructure the economy by reinvesting carbon revenue towards innovation and initiatives that will change the way our energy is produced.

“Over time, hundreds and thousands of jobs will be created all over the country.

“It seems like such an epic journey from the first moment we spoke about action on climate change back in 2008 till now.

“But we can finally hold our head up as a nation and know that we’re making an investment in our economy, environment and in the future generations to come.

“Unions are proud to have been involved in the debate from the beginning and now we have been able to see a delivered package that includes the protection of Australian industries and jobs.

“We can say unions were fundamental in ensuring the overall package included assistance to households, the protection of Australian jobs, support for affected industries as well as investment in clean innovation and technology.

“This is just the beginning of great possibilities.”

Australia has now committed to cutting pollution by at least 160 million tonnes a year in 2020, with revenue raised from the carbon price going directly into clean energy initiatives.

“Unions have always believed that Australia’s greatest asset has been our people they work hard and dream big,” Ms Kearney said.

“This initiative not only ensures we’ll have a clean planet to pass onto future generations  but it’s also about doing something bold and making decisions that are about building our nation and not for short term political points.”