Federal Labor speaks out on climate change

Sharon Bird MP and Stephen Jones MP have made speeches in Parliament supporting the Federal Government’s plan to cut pollution, tackle climate change and detailing the important role that the industries of the Illawarra and Southern Highlands will play in moving to a clean energy future.

“The scientific evidence is clear: carbon pollution is contributing to climate change. Every government around the world is attempting to come to grips with the challenge, and no responsible government can afford to ignore it,” said Stephen Jones, the Member for Throsby.

“This is a generational reform debate… the international community is moving towards addressing and dealing with the carbon challenge,” Sharon Bird, the Member for Cunningham said.

“We look forward to engaging with employers like BlueScope and the representatives of the workforce… the AWU, the major union at the BlueScope Steel, and the South Coast Labour Council,” Mr Jones said.

“I have worked closely with existing traditional industries including the companies—such as BlueScope Steel Australia—and their workforces and representatives. We work closely with our coal industry. We also work closely with our diversified economy,” Ms Bird said.

“What is at stake is not only the future of our environment, the way we live in Australia, the future of our economy and whether we are able to drive the sorts of investments and incentives in clean energy futures, green jobs of the future and green industries of the future to transform our economy,” Mr Jones said.

“We understand the capacity for transformation in addressing and dealing with the challenges of a carbon constrained economy and we want to get on the back of the opportunities that that creates,” Ms Bird said.

“We want to build jobs for the future so the kids of our region have really good, long-term, sustainable jobs in manufacturing, in the mining industry and more broadly in research and development, tourism and education—all of the areas where we have built on our existing strengths to diversify our economy,” she said.

“(Let’s) have a mature, informed debate on the importance of fixing a carbon price to ensure that we can manage (that) economic transformation,” Mr Jones said.