The Australian Greens say infrastructure funding in the coming Federal Budget must be used to reduce Australia's greenhouse emissions and create jobs in climate protection.
"Let's get over this obsession with sheltering the big polluters of the fossil fuel industry," Greens Sustainable Cities Spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam said.
"Let's instead use future infrastructure spending to help workers and the country adapt to the challenges we are facing in terms of the economy and the climate.
"We should be investing in job-creation through building public transport networks and renewable energy infrastructure.
"In WA, this is likely to mean improving public transport links in regional centres and building a light rail network for metropolitan Perth. Through this, we will help protect car-reliant suburbs from inevitable fuel price rises and congestion.
"In WA, we have an abundance of renewable energies, in particular in solar, geothermal, wind and wave. The technology is advanced and it is commercially viable. But we need to build appropriate infrastructure and provide support for these industries so that they can feed into the grid at a greater scale.
"To date, the Rudd Government has consistently talked about infrastructure investment in terms of roads and coal.
"Yet oil prices are rising and the global financial crisis has destroyed jobs in car manufacturing and coal mining. We need to re-skill workers and help them find work in industries that have a strong future of long-term growth.
"Ultimately, the decision of how to spend money on infrastructure in the coming budget is going to be a test of Kevin Rudd's honesty on climate change."
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