Speaking in support of a manufacturing jobs motion put forward by the Opposition, Abigail today spoke of the short-sightedness of the Government’s continued obsession with coal at the expense of a jobs-rich renewable energy sector.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (11:40): I make a brief contribution on this motion, which The Greens support, and I thank the Hon. Penny Sharpe for bringing it on for debate today. It is the Government's responsibility and role in our economy to plan ahead to ensure that everyone in our State who wants a job has one. That means assessing the outlook for industries, looking at where transitions out of dying or unsustainable industries are required and ensuring that workers are not left behind. It means committing to free and accessible tertiary education and skills training, to reskill and upskill workers, and providing opportunities in new and existing industries and new projects for those workers.
The massive investment required in our State's infrastructure gives the Government a golden opportunity to provide tens of thousands of new local jobs for the people of New South Wales. To be outsourcing these projects and denying the opportunity of jobs for those needing them most is another massive mistake by this Government. Killing off tens of thousands of jobs in the process goes beyond simple economic mismanagement. It shows a negligent indifference to the plight of those people doing it tough across New South Wales. As to the amendment moved by the Hon. Mark Latham, which appears to hijack a discussion about manufacturing jobs to push outdated and uninformed notions about energy policy, the answer of course is not to continue propping up dying and unsustainable industries. It is to plan sensible transitions away from those industries towards other opportunities for sustainable twenty-first century smart industries in a way that does not leave workers behind. Doggedly—and I use that word in honour of the International Day of the Dog—hanging on to industries of the past is of no long‑term benefit to our economy or our society.