Image: Australian Council of Trade Unions
Government Press Release:
The Albanese Government will legislate a national Net Zero Authority to ensure the workers, industries and communities that have powered Australia for generations can seize the opportunities of Australia’s net zero transformation.
The global transformation to a net zero economy is a massive source of economic opportunity for Australia, its regions, industries and workers.
The Authority will have responsibility for promoting the orderly and positive economic transformation associated with achieving net zero emissions.
The new, legislated Net Zero Authority will:
- Support workers in emissions-intensive sectors to access new employment, skills and support as the net zero transformation continues.
- Coordinate programs and policies across government to support regions and communities to attract and take advantage of new clean energy industries and set those industries up for success.
- Help investors and companies to engage with net zero transformation opportunities.
To kickstart the Authority’s responsibilities immediately, the Government intends to establish an Agency from July 1 this year, initially housed in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The Agency will also lead on providing advice to Government on the final design and establishment of the legislated National Net Zero Authority.
The Authority will work with state, territory and local governments, existing regional bodies, unions, industry, investors, First Nations groups and others to help key regions, industries, employers and others proactively manage the transformation to a clean energy economy.
The Government will also provide additional funding from the $1.9 billion Powering the Regions Fund to support existing industry – such as rail and aviation – and new clean energy industries, with the creation of a $400 million Industrial Transformation Stream.
Over 150 countries have now committed to net zero by 2050, including almost all major economies and the majority of Australia’s trading partners. With renewable energy the cheapest form of new energy, investor interest in Australian industries is following these trends.
The shift to net zero emissions by 2050 must happen fairly for Australians in emissions-intensive industries and the communities they live and work in.
The regions that have always powered Australia can power Australia into the future, but we need to seize those opportunities. This Authority is about leaving no-one behind as this global shift continues.
Australian Conservation Foundation Press Release
New body an essential part of energy transformation
The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the Albanese government’s announcement of a National Net Zero Authority to coordinate Australia’s clean energy transformation.
“This is an essential step in Australia’s energy transformation,” said CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“A coordinated and well-planned transition is needed to make sure communities, workers and the economy enjoy the benefits of this inevitable transformation.
“It will be important for the new authority to have regulatory power, independence and financial sustainability, and to include representation from industry, unions and affected communities, including civil society and First Nations representatives.
“It will also be important that the National Net Zero Authority oversees the transition away from fossil fuel exports, towards clean exports, not only power station closures. This is where the big jobs, manufacturing and emissions reduction opportunities are.
“If the clean energy revolution is managed badly it will result in a lot of damage to nature, so the authority must make sure the transition is done in a way that’s good for nature.
“A transition that allows communities to help lead the way to a future beyond coal and gas will be a faster and more effective transition – and that’s better for our climate.
“Communities will look to this authority to support, coordinate and complement existing state and regional transition planning processes, starting with the regions experiencing closures of coal-fired power stations.
“In recent months we’ve been big announcements in Europe and north America relating to the global race to reap the jobs, climate and economic benefits of becoming a clean energy superpower. This authority is essential to make sure Australia is a competitor in the global clean energy transformation.
“It will be important for the authority to deliver and administer labour adjustment packages and policies so energy workers have access to good quality, secure and safe jobs.”
ACTU Press Release
New National Net Zero Authority a win for workers and climate
The ACTU welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement today of a new National Net Zero
Authority to support workers and their communities and to deliver a just transition to a net zero
The new Authority will help maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of Australia’s energy transition,
driving the creation of good jobs in new industries and ensuring no worker or community is left behind.
The major announcement from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Treasurer Jim Chalmers, and Minister
for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen was outlined by Minister Bowen today outside the Liddell
Power Station in Muswellbrook, NSW – the latest coal-fired power station to shut its doors.
The new Authority will ensure workers in emissions-intensive industries impacted on the road to net
zero will be fully supported with individualised worker transition plans to ensure they experience a fair
transition with access to quality, secure and safe jobs in new industries.
The Authority will also spur new opportunities – particularly in Australia’s energy regions – by creating
new jobs, facilitating investment, developing new industries, and supporting place-based economic
This will ensure the communities that have been keeping the lights on in Australia for generations can
build on that proud legacy by helping power the nation’s transition to a net zero future.
The Government announced it would legislate the Authority, but with work beginning almost
immediately through the establishment of an Executive Agency to be set up on 1 July 2023.
This victory marks the culmination of more than a decade of campaigning from the union movement,
with unions representing coal-fired power workers leading the charge and building support across
community, business, investors and climate organisations.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“This is an important victory for Australia’s energy workers, their families and communities, and for the
climate. The National Net Zero Authority creates a sturdy bridge for workers, their families and
communities to a clean energy future.
“Supporting creation of new quality jobs and skills and providing the resources workers and
communities need are essential elements of this plan.
“Reaching net zero emissions is a nation-building, history-making, generation-defining project. The
creation of this Authority will allow Australia to advance that project with confidence, knowing no one will
be left behind.
“The union movement is proud of the workers and communities who have powered Australia and are
central to Australia’s transition to a decarbonised economy.
“We congratulate the Government and urge it to move quickly in passing this historic legislation. After a
decade of denial and delay under the previous Government, we have no time to waste in securing a
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