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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 16 February 2017) . . Page.. 585 ..


Colleagues, I have spoken about the importance of transitioning to a clean energy future. But what is just as important is that the transition does not leave people behind. Transitioning towards clean energy is necessary for the sustainability of our world, but making sure we do a transition that is just is necessary for our communities.

A just transition acknowledges that both people and the environment are important. A just transition recognises that the cost of change does not solely fall on the most vulnerable in our communities. A just transition recognises that we as a society have a responsibility to look after those who are affected by circumstances outside their control.

It is possible to move towards a cleaner future that has economic and social justice at its core. We have seen examples of this overseas. The German coal mining industry, for example, has seen a rapid transition since the 1990s, with the number of jobs in the sector declining by upwards of 100,000. As mining operations closed, workers were redeployed to other operations throughout the country. If workers wished to leave the industry altogether, they were offered training opportunities before their retrenchment, assisting them to find ongoing work.

Through cooperation between government, employers and unions, Germany has been able to move to renewable sources of energy without leaving workers behind. A person losing their job is never something to be celebrated, regardless of what industry they work in. The closure of Hazelwood power station will likely see hundreds of people lose their jobs. This is not something to cheer. This is something that tells us we need to act. This is something that tells us we need a national plan to ensure a just transition for workers.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (11.33): I rise to speak in support of this motion. I thank Mr Rattenbury for putting such an important motion before the Assembly. The ACT Labor-Greens government has led the way on this issue, despite what the Liberals might say is a backward approach. The ACT leads the nation in reaching our 100 per cent—

Mrs Dunne: Did you listen to what she said?

MS ORR: No, I stumbled my words, Vicki. You were right to say—

Mrs Dunne: Did you listen to what she said? She did not criticise you at all.

MS ORR: I would like to thank Ms Lee for pointing out that once—

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, there is to be no interjection across the chamber.

MS ORR: The ACT leads the nation in reaching our 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2020. This will ensure that Canberrans will continue to have access to a reliable and affordable electricity supply. This policy will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and do our bit to mitigate future climate change.


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