Manufacturing union says manufacturers need help to transition from coal

AMWU Western Australia state secretary Steve McCartney

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has called for federal and state governments hand over sovereign land and give tax concessions to manufacturers to help them transition away from coal power, according to The Guardian.

AMWU Western Australia state secretary Steve McCartney has called for a Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) style finance body to help expand manufacturing in regions affected by reduction in the need for coal, including the La Trobe Valley. 

The body would provide loans to small-to-medium sized manufacturing businesses in the regions. Under the AMWU proposal, enterprises in the affected regions could also defer paying PAYG, GST and payroll tax to help improve their cash flow.

“We have to give them tax concessions to make it happen. More importantly we have to have a buy-local campaign to make us buy our own goods,” McCartney said. 

The WA state secretary also said that industry hubs should be created in the regions. He praised the establishment of a shipbuilding hub in WA. 

“I’ve got to say, if it wasn’t for the National party a long time ago, we probably wouldn’t have had that hub. People thought it was going to be a white elephant. It has proven itself now. Not only has it created an industry, it has created up- and downstream companies around there.”

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