Australian Greens Industry spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has responded to a leaked report of the COVID Commission’s Manufacturing Taskforce, which prioritises gas expansion as the way to rebuild manufacturing and create jobs.
Senator Faruqi said:
“We must revive Australian manufacturing, and this can and must be done with renewable energy. Choosing gas over renewables is completely intentional and a consequence of the government’s cosy relationship with the fossil fuel industry.
“The government is using the COVID-19 crisis as cover to double down on their agenda of expanding fossil fuel extraction, while we’re also in the midst of a climate breakdown. This is shameful politics to appease their mates in the gas industry.
“As an engineer, I know that Australian manufacturing can have a clean, jobs-rich future. But we have to make the right choices now to ensure the investment flows towards industries that also tackle the climate crisis.
“This is the time to set on a course to become a renewables powerhouse and attract 21st century industries like data centres, battery and carbon fibre manufacturing to Australia, all running on clean, green energy.
“The Greens have this week proposed investing $12 billion to establish a Manufacturing Australia Fund. This would modernise and expand Australian manufacturing, including green steel hubs in Queensland and NSW as well as the advanced manufacturing processes of the future.
“The government is bending over backwards to please the fossil fuel lobby. It’s no coincidence these are the businesses and players who have donated enormous amounts of money to both the major parties over decades,” she said.