Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on the Industry Minister Kim Carr to visit the Illawarra and meet with the South Coast Labour Council to discuss support for the Green Jobs Illawarra Action Plan, following today’s announcement by BlueScope Steel that there will be a loss of about 800 direct jobs at its Port Kembla facility.
“Today’s announcement is a serious blow for the Illawarra and knock-on effects will bring hardship to many people”, Senator Rhiannon said.
“The closure highlights that the business as usual model promoted by the Opposition will only lead to the hollowing out of the manufacturing sector. We need a focus on industry policy including understanding how pricing carbon can be a positive for manufacturing.
“Getting manufacturing back on its feet in NSW means tackling the two-speed economy and putting government support behind forward-looking regional projects.
“I am calling on the Industry Minister Kim Carr to visit the Illawarra and meet with the South Coast Labour Council to discuss moving the Green Jobs Illawarra Action Plan forward.
“The writing has been on the wall for BlueScope for some time and there are concrete initiatives on the table to build jobs, such as the cogeneration facility at the Port Kembla Steelworks
“If the Federal and NSW governments got behind the construction of a cogeneration facility this could mean 2000 jobs over a three year construction phase, according to the Greens Jobs Illawarra Action Plan.
“The Greens have renewed our call for a sovereign wealth fund, to take the heat out of the economy, ease inflationary pressures and redistribute the benefits of the mining boom. Such a fund will also see the Australian dollar trading at more sustainable levels”, said Senator Rhiannon.
The Green Jobs Illawarra Action Plan was released in 2009 by the Green Jobs Illawarra Project Steering Committee, including the South Coast Labour Council, University of Wollongong, Illawarra TAFE, Illawarra Business Chamber and the Australian Industry Group. http://www.sclc.com.au/pdf/Green%20Jobs%20Illawarra%20Action%20Plan.pdf