More jobs fewer holes

“A booming industry producing renewable energy technologies could be the future for Lake Macquarie if the political will existed” Greens Candidate for Lake Macquarie Suzanne Pritchard said.

On a visit to the Hunter on Tuesday Greens Upper House candidate John Kaye said the Iemma Government’s failure to develop a plan for the Hunter to make the transition from coal to renewables would cost the region 25,000 jobs over the next decade.

Between the mid 1980s and 2004 the coal industry shed 18,000 jobs largely because of technological changes. Based on the experiences in other countries where governments have taken responsibility to ensure a planned transition from coal to renewables, a conservative estimate is that 25,000 additional jobs could be created over the next 10 years.

“We’ve got 12.8% of the population already in the manufacturing industry so we have a strong skill base, we’ve got land at the old Pasminco site able to provide the place for the industry so we have the location and we have the transport infrastructure with good access to rail on the doorstop so, all that is needed is the political will to make it happen.” Suzanne said

“The Greens are about providing a future, not only for people but for the planet. The impacts of burning coal are changing our world and this electorate is making quite a contribution to that change. We need to accept some responsibility and that means looking for alternatives. Fortunately we don’t have to look too far because the answer is obvious, renewable energy technologies that create lots of jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Coal is under our feet everywhere in this electorate, many of us live with the impacts of subsidence in our communities and dust in the air. Moving to a renewable energy industry that creates jobs instead of big holes and environmental devastation would be a much better long term future for this area” Suzanne said

“Lake Macquarie is a major electricity producer for the region and the State, we could still contribute to electricity production not only locally but globally if subsidies were given to kick start a local industry that is in such demand world wide”

“In an area where water restrictions are a way of life expanding the coal industry that consumes massive amounts of water seems ludicrous”

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