Climate minister visits manufacturing union, plugs carbon policies

Members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) met with government officials in Melbourne this week in a bid to better understand today’s climate change policy and its likely effect on the manufacturing industry.

The meeting took place during an AMWU conference, during which attendees discussed the futureof manufacturing in a low carbon economy.

The conference was an opportunity for officials to look at the science of climate change and form their own opinions based on expert advice, according to AMWU national secretary, Dave Oliver.

Federal Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, was also in attendance, and invited officials to ask questions about the government’s policy and the impact on manufacturing jobs. 

“The Minister faced some fairly robust questioning. But I think what came out of that was a sense that the government must do something – and the $14.8 billion clean-tech industry plan they’ve delivered reflects our union’s long standing policy,” Oliver said. 

“It reduces carbon emissions, but importantly for manufacturing workers, it funds job creation and development in Australian manufacturing. We’re committed to ensuring the government now delivers on this policy.” 

Minister Combet took the opportunity to talk down the Opposition, claiming the ‘scare campaign’ carried out by the Liberal Party would eventually come unstuck. 

“Once the policy is in place – and the sky doesn’t fall in. There will be no where left for him and the opposition to go,” he said.

“Most of the major economies around the world have already made pledges to reduce their pollution levels – we are not on our own. 

“It’s why British Prime Minister, David Cameron, wrote to Prime Minister Julia Gillard earlier this week – to congratulate us on our policy.”

AMWU Victorian organiser David Vroland said the two-day conference made him ‘proud’ of the AMWU and the action it’s taking to better understand the government’s policies.  

“I’m proud of our union’s policy – to secure the manufacturing of clean technology in Australia. I’m also pleased to see we can also secure the future of our kids both environmentally and industrially,” he said.

“I think we need to stand up to the lies and short-term thinking of the ‘do-nothing’ Tony Abbott and other climate change deniers. This is our opportunity to get on the front foot of this debate for a safe environment and secure jobs in the future.”