Cleaning up with green jobs

THE Richmond-Tweed region could gain more than 20,400 more jobs by 2030 if the Federal Government stepped up its climate change game, a report has said.

The services industry, including from lawyers to cleaners and cafe owners, would receive the biggest boost in the region, followed closely by the construction industry.

The report, compiled jointly by the Australian Conservation Fund (ACF) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions, compares weak action, such as the Government onlyimplementing a 25 per cent carbon emissions reduction target, against strong action, the implementation of a 25pc target, with domestic pollution reduction policies in place as well.

The report, Creating Jobs – Cutting Pollution: The roadmap for a cleaner, stronger economy, states if the Government implements strong action, the number of jobs in theregion will grow by 20pc.

ACF climate change campaigner Owen Pascoe believes the plan will provide more demand for jobs in clean and renewable energy industries, creating a stronger economy so people have more money to spend in the services sector.

“With action we can create all these jobs across the region,” he said.

“The previous Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) model allowed us to achieve our target not by taking act-ion at home, but by importing from overseas, which doesn’t actually fix the global problem.”

Recently, the Rudd Government announced it was were putting its Emissions Trading Scheme on the back burner until 2012.

Nimbin-based recycled furniture maker Adrian Williamson is a prime example of success in a carbon-friendly business.

Mr Williamson has been making recycled furniture for about 10 years in his workshop, which is powered by solar panels.

His park benches have been used throughout Woodlark Street in Lismore.

“I have 60 panels on the roof and it helps save them building another coal plant,” he said.

“I didn’t realise my business was eco-interesting. The ecological(aspect of the business) came after the panels and after that I realised my carbon footprint is non-existent.”

Mr Williamson’s order book is constantly full and his eco-friendly business is booming.

Federal Page MP Janelle Saffin said she wanted the ‘big polluters to pay’.

“I am committed to taking strong action on climate change,” she said.

“I want the big polluters to pay, and I want to move to renewable energy sooner rather than later.”

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