Build Jobs & Industry

To achieve this, a Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Establish a Strategic Industries Taskforce to undertake in-depth engagement with emissions intensive, trade exposed (EITE) industries and identify options to support their future competitiveness;

  • The Taskforce will explore the specific challenges and opportunities in each industry, and systematically review both the domestic and global markets they operate within.

  • Ensure that the Taskforce provides advice to government which is grounded in practical industry thinking and tailored to the unique needs of each sector.

The recommendations of the Taskforce will help inform the design process and rules for the Emissions Trading Scheme commencing in 2020. During phase one of Labor’s ETS (2018-2020), Labor will support the global competitiveness of EITE industries through full access to international carbon offsets.

Labor is focused on the jobs of today and building the jobs of tomorrow, investing in the skills and knowledge that will underpin our future industries.

Labor knows that we need to chart a course to dramatically reduce our carbon pollution levels along with the rest of the world to keep global warming to well below two degrees Celsius. All serious economic modelling demonstrates that this can be done in a way that continues Australia’s economic prosperity. 

We do recognise that there will be uneven impacts across Australia, with some industries and regions impacted by change; especially those with a heavy reliance on fossil fuels, like the Latrobe Valley, Illawarra, Hunter and the Collie River Valley and other emissions intensive trade exposed sectors.

To demonstrate our commitment to working with businesses and communities to transition to more sustainable, long term industries, Labor will establish a Strategic Industries Reserve Fund with an initial funding profile of $300m over three years. This Fund will support the ongoing competitiveness of our strategic industries during Australia’s transition to a low-carbon economy. This type of fund would be one of the mechanisms for delivering on the recommendations of the Strategic Industries Taskforce, for example in relation to support for affected workers in emissions intensive regions, targeted assistance to modernise and invest in low emissions technologies, additional research and development, new market identification and measures to improve efficiency and productivity

What are strategic industries?

There are sectors of Australia’s economy that are of critical strategic importance; industries like steel, cement, aluminium and others. These industries must stay in Australia – no global environmental purpose is served by such operations closing in Australia and being picked up by another nation. Such “carbon leakage” also has obvious economic and jobs impacts in Australian communities. Labor will support the competitiveness of emissions intensive industries that are strategically important to this country’s future. We understand that maintaining strong and viable local industries like steel and aluminium is vital for Australia’s economic development and our successful transition to a low-pollution future.

Strategic Industries Taskforce

Labor will establish a Strategic Industries Taskforce to undertake in-depth engagement with emissions intensive, trade exposed industries and identify options to support their future competitiveness.

The Taskforce will engage with individual firms, peak bodies and research groups to explore the specific challenges and opportunities in each industry, and systematically review both the domestic and global markets they operate within. This will ensure that the Taskforce provides advice to government which is grounded in practical industry thinking and tailored to the needs of each sector. This would include:

  • Targeted assistance to enable firms to:

    • invest in energy efficient capital equipment and low emissions technologies;

    • invest in processes and products to reduce their carbon emissions;

    • maintain their international competitiveness; and

    • manufacture new products and supply new markets.

  • Clean energy procurement policy that maximises local content in clean technologies and the renewables sector; and

  • Investment in science and research to ensure we are in a position to create and commercialise the next wave of innovation in renewables and clean technology.

WHY?

Labor’s guiding philosophy for more than a century has been that a stable job, with decent pay and conditions, is the bedrock of a decent life. Saving for a home, raising a family, having financial security in retirement are only possible when you have a decent job.

The transition of Australia’s economy to a clean energy future is not negotiable. Labor knows that we need to chart a course to dramatically reduce our pollution levels along with the rest of the world to keep global warming to well below two degrees Celsius. All serious economic modelling demonstrates that this can be done in a way that preserves Australia’s economic prosperity.

That’s why Labor has put full employment at the centre of its economic plan for the nation.

Will your policy be the end of Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed (EITE) industries?

No. Labor is committed to supporting jobs in Australia’s manufacturing industry. We will work with industry through the Strategic Industries Taskforce to ensure that those jobs are supported while Australia works to cut its overall pollution levels.

Phase one of Labor’s ETS has been designed to ensure Australia achieves the bipartisan target to reduce carbon pollution by 5% on 2000 levels by 2020 – while protecting jobs in emissions intensive, trade exposed industries like steel and aluminium.

There will be no direct carbon price imposed on those companies. Any EITE company that breaches its pollution cap will be able to purchase carbon offsets – on the international market, at minimal cost. Any breach would result in an effective carbon price of a few cents per tonne of total carbon pollution.

EITEs will be able to purchase 100% of any offsets they may require as a consequence of breaching their cap on the international market. EITES will have access to 100% international permits.

Want more details?

Download the summary fact sheet here 
or download the full policy document here.