Victoria, South Australia & NSW need an economic stimulus package to create jobs and transition to a clean economy, Greens Deputy Leader and industry spokesperson, Adam Bandt, said today.
Mr Bandt today released ‘Saving south-east Australia', a fully-funded plan to build 77,500 new houses in south-eastern Australia, fast-track high-speed rail, provide tax relief to small business and manufacturing and boost research and innovation spending.
"The south-eastern states have been suffering from the pressures of the mining boom, including a high Australian dollar, and we urgently need a plan to secure jobs and a strong, clean economy" said Mr Bandt.
"Now is the time to cut $12bn in corporate welfare from the fossil-fuel sector to drive a clean economy and secure jobs in south-east Australia."
"By building more public housing and fast-tracking public transport projects, we can find jobs for the workers facing redundancy, address the housing crisis and care for the planet all at once."
"Unfortunately, Victoria's economy has recorded negative growth in recent years and now Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott plan to cut spending in the May Budget, which will hit hard."
"Whether Victoria plunges into recession is now ultimately in the hands of Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott."
"It's time for a south-east stimulus package and a clean industry transition plan, not harsh cuts and billions of dollars subsidies to polluters."
The ‘Saving south-east Australia: A stimulus package for jobs and a clean economy' would be funded by measures including removing $12bn in fossil fuel subsidies and introducing a proper mining tax and its key features are:
- Supporting ongoing construction, design and manufacturing jobs through the building of 77,500 new houses in south-eastern Australia over the next ten years;
- Giving manufacturers a competitive advantage by providing accelerated depreciation on the purchase of clean technologies at a cost of $30 million;
- Providing $75 million to assist the manufacture of electric vehicles and related infrastructure;
- Investing $3.6 billion into our ageing public transport systems to improve employment opportunities and productivity while reducing transport congestion;
- Providing 228,000 manufacturing, construction, engineering, planning and assessment jobs over the lifetime of the High Speed Rail project that will link up the eastern seaboard;
- Stimulating employment and revenue for small businesses through our small business policy of reducing their tax by 2% and increasing the instant asset write off threshold;
- Establishing a Research and Development target of 3% of GDP to drive the industries and innovations of the future, combining this with lifting University funding by 10% and restoring the cuts made by both the Labor and Liberal governments;
- Fast-tracking the construction of the Port Augusta Solar Thermal Plant to replace ageing coal-fired generators and create jobs in construction; and
- Providing $100 million further funding for Tourism Australia to seek out new markets to sustain the half a million Australians involved in promoting our natural and cultural heritage.