A report released today by the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) based on research from Ernst and Young Australia (EY) finds that closure of coal-fired power stations and reduction in the cost of renewable energy will mean significant change for the workforce in those power stations in the next decade.

The report shows substantial support for a new independent authority to manage the transition of coal power regions. The worker transfer scheme initiated in the Latrobe Valley by the Victorian Government stands as an early sign of what might be achieved by such an authority.

We need new jobs in regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland. It is clear that many workers will need to be moved into new jobs and new industries over the next decade, and that plan needs to be overseen and implemented by an independent authority.

The federal government must meet its responsibilities to workers, communities and to investors who stand ready to invest in new industries, by providing stable energy and climate policy that creates new, secure jobs.

The report Coal, Carbon and the Community: Investing in a just transition – was authored by EY Australia and is available at www.igcc.org.au/publications

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“Communities that are facing transition must flourish, not just survive.”

“We need to ensure that workers and their communities have the power to determine their own futures through a just and equitable transition. We know it must be done, and the good news is we know how we can do it.”

“There is an urgent need for an independent transition authority to oversee the transition. Without it, workers will be forgotten and end up as collateral damage in the ongoing energy crisis.”

“Investors are ready to jump behind new industries which can provide jobs for workers currently in coal-fired power stations but only if the government acts now to provide certainty and stability.”

“If managed well, the diversification of these regional economies offers enormous opportunities for new sustainable employment in new industries.”

“It’s time to modernise our energy sector, meet our emissions targets, create new jobs and reduce the impacts on existing workers and their communities.”

“We all need the federal government to step up to the plate and deliver stable energy policy that includes a just transition for all affected workers.”