Yes to Renewables: Putting communities and jobs first  

Media Release - February 2, 2024

Australia is on the way to becoming a cleaner, more secure, and more energy independent nation. At the United Nations COP28 in December, Australia, along with every country on earth, pledged to triple renewables and double energy efficiency by 2030—essential to meeting the overall goal of preventing dangerous climate breakdown. 

To achieve that goal, we need an energy network of wind and solar farms connected to fully renewable industries that will help meet our power needs for the next 100 years and beyond. Government climate industry policy and support must ensure the growing renewables sector is creating good union jobs, employing local workers and apprentices, and delivering tangible benefits to the communities in which projects are located. Australia has a choice to make, we can seize this tremendous opportunity to benefit workers, households, and communities–or miss the boat and get left behind.  

This weekend will see rallies and community events across the country—from the Hunter and the Illawarra, to Gladstone, QLD and Portland and Gippsland, VIC— to make that support loud and clear. The “YES to Renewables” rallies will bring together workers, families, unions, environmental groups, business leaders, and climate experts to stand up in favour of—more clean investment, more jobs, more household savings, and a safer future for all Australians.  

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:  

“Communities are overwhelmingly saying yes to renewables because people understand the seriousness of climate change and know the importance of local good jobs. Outside commentators are pushing misinformation to further their own political ambitions, rather than listening to the voices of communities and workers who see this as a once in lifetime opportunity to revitalize our economy and create a new generation of good secure renewable energy jobs.  

“Decarbonising our economy could create hundreds of thousands of good jobs, healthier communities, and a renewed national prosperity, while safeguarding Australians from spiralling climate crises. Renewables have proven time and again that they’re the cheapest form of energy. More renewables on the grid means lower power bills—incredibly important during this cost-of-living crisis.  


Notes to editors: 

Newcastle (NSW) action: 

What: ‘Our communities, our jobs, our future’ – Newcastle climate rally supporting responsible development of Hunter offshore wind 

When: Sunday 4 February 2023, 11am to 1pm 

Where: Train Sheds, Foreshore Park, 32 Wharf Rd, Newcastle East, NSW 2300 

Contact on the ground: Leigh Shears (Hunter Workers) 0401 798 002 


Wollongong (NSW) action: 

What: Illawarra family fun day to say YES to renewables!  

When: Sunday 4 February 2024, 11am to 2pm 

Where: Osborne Park, 1 Cliff Road, Wollongong NSW 2500 

Contact on the ground: Gavan McFadzean (ACF) 0414 754 023 


Gladstone (QLD) action: 

What: Gladstone supports renewables: Community breakfast for local climate action 

When: Sunday 4 February 2024, 9am to 10am 

Where: Palm Point, Gladstone Marina, Gladstone QLD 4680 

Contact on the ground: Jaclyn McCosker (ACF) 0423 752 266 


Portland (VIC) action: 

What: Renewables for Regions information event 

When: Thursday 8 February 2024, 4:30pm-6pm 

Where: Function Room of Portland Golf Club, 755 Madeira Packet Road, Portland VIC 3305 

Contact on the ground: Carl Millard (Southwest Trades and Labour Council) 0484 070 077 


Gippsland (VIC) action: 

What: Yes to Renewables Gippsland 

When: 11am, Sunday 4 February 

Where: Latrobe City Council, 141 Commercial Rd. Morwell, Vic, 3840 

Contact on the ground: Wendy Farmer, Voices of the Valley, 0408261551 

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