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Passing of climate change legislation provides certainty for workers

08 November, 2011 | Media Release | ACTU

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.”

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About Darin Sullivan (1968 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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