Greens launch South Coast jobs plan
FUTURE jobs in the area will be in renewable energy, sustainable food production and other agricultural industries, expanding public health and education sectors, tourism, creative arts, waste management and biotechnology, according to The Greens.
Greens candidates Terry Barratt (Kiama) and Amanda Findley (South Coast) launched the party’s regional renewal plan, aimed at creating local jobs on Tuesday.
They said natural assets like the rich and biodiverse natural environment, pristine waters and productive farmlands underpinned future economic opportunities in tourism and agriculture.
They said they supported ecologically sustainable development that put the needs of residents before property developers.
“This is an investment in the future,” Mr Barratt said.
“Kiama and South Coast electorates face an employment challenge with some of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.
“We have a plan for local jobs and we have a funding plan.”
The Greens propose to renew regional areas through the reallocation of current subsidies to the coal industry and levying additional royalties on mining to support natural resource management activities and jobs.
That could see $1 billion over four years to fund long-term sustainable development in regional NSW.
“This would enable the government to manage the transition away from coal and create new regional employment activities while protecting natural resources,” Mr Barratt said.
“This document is a start. It’s an ideas document, raising things being done, things we think need to be done and can be done, to take us into a new economic future in the Kiama-South Coast area.
“But it needs us to all come together, the community, business and government working on developing plans that fit in with the environment.”
Ms Findley said the jobs plan was important.
“There are some exciting opportunities ahead of us in the Shoalhaven,” she said.
“We’ve got the Relivit option looking at the paper mill site at Bomaderry, which is a fantastic innovation in recycling – a real example of how legislation can lead to innovation.
“We can legislate things like the container deposit legislation that will allow for expanded jobs and the reuse of resources already extracted.”
Ms Findley was excited about The Greens’ move to dismantle the native forest logging industry in NSW.
“The Shoalhaven has the South Coast forests and those forests are being logged, predominantly for $5-$6 a tonne for woodchips, which is then being exported for paper made off shore, which is just abominable when you look at 75 jobs axed at the paper mill,” she said.
“If we had some legislation to produce innovations we could look at how we could improve recycling here onshore and force those jobs to be back at the paper mill.
“The forestry industry is losing $11 million a year. The Greens would shut down the native forest logging and redirect $80 million over four years into the retraining of people displaced in those jobs into new and exciting industries based around plantation timber.”
She said she would like to see The Greens Jobs Illawarra Plan developed with the South Coast Labor Council and Greens members activated.
as published in the South Coast Register on 10 March 2015 by Robert Crawford