The release of the first grants from the Government's $1 billion Clean Technology Investment Programs are a vote of confidence in manufacturing jobs under a price on carbon, say unions. ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said the grants would sustain manufacturing industry and jobs by helping them to install environmentally-friendly technology to lower their carbon emissions and their energy bills.
"These grants are a vote of confidence in the future of manufacturing and food processing under a price on carbon," Mr Oliver said.
"The recipients are companies that intend to be around a long time, creating jobs while recognising that the future is in clean energy sources.
"The Clean Technology Investment Programs will help ensure the industry is sustainable for the long term."
Mr Oliver said during negotiations for a price on carbon, unions had successfully argued for funding to support industry make the transformation to a low carbon economy.
"Funds released from the price on carbon will assist proper industry planning and investment, it will lead to new and better opportunities for manufacturers," he said.
"These new grants will deliver help for businesses to become more efficient and sustainable for the long-term, ensuring they continue to employ Australians in secure jobs."
Mr Oliver said the new grants came after recent international research showed that up to one million new Australian jobs would be created by governments taking strong action on pollution.
Unions across the world have called for increased private and public investment in clean energy technologies in the wake of a recent analysis by the Millennium Institute of job creation potential in manufacturing, energy, construction, transport, agriculture, forestry and water sectors.
The analysis forecast potential future green jobs growth and found that investment in the green economy was integral to addressing the global unemployment challenge.
"Unions understand that strong action on climate change and investment in clean energy technologies is essential to the long-term sustainability of Australian industry, including manufacturing," Mr Oliver said.
"The Federal Government's Clean Energy Future package in Australia is an important step in driving the investment in a low carbon economy and the associated job creation.
"The path the Federal Government has paved for Australia is important for the future of the economy broadly and particularly for jobs."
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