SENATOR PENNY WONG
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY IN THE SENATE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA
ANIKA WELLS MP
MEMBER FOR LILLEY
SUBJECTS: Job opportunities from investing in renewable energy; Morrison-Joyce Government’s failure to take action on climate change; COP26.
ANIKA WELLS, MEMBER FOR LILLEY: Good morning everybody. I'm Anika Wells, the Federal Member for Lilley. Today we are here at Gem Energy which is a solar power and battery company in beautiful Pinkenba, in my electorate of Lilley. Gem Energy really is the blueprint for success for Australia's renewable future. Gem Energy, and Jack who runs the show, really demonstrate what you can do with initiative, enterprise...
It's the ambient noise of Lilley!
Jack and the team at Gem Energy demonstrate the blueprint for success; not only for harnessing the opportunities of our renewables future, but also supporting our local economy, and ensuring that our kids have the opportunity of decent and secure work, close to home.
My constituent Aaron was living near the poverty line and working at an insurance call centre, when he had the opportunity to get a start in solar. Across 10 years he worked his way up so that he is now in management, and that is able to provide him and his now young family, a good life on the north side. That's what investing in renewables can do; it grows our local economy and gives local people, good secure work.
And the stakes are pretty high here in Lilley. It's not just the case that we can harness opportunity and address the climate emergency. Here in Lilley, since the Coalition took power in 2013, we have lost 38% of our local apprenticeships. So, it's a big difference between that policy outcome from the Coalition, and Labor choosing to invest in renewables and the opportunity in things like electrical apprenticeships, available through solar, here, locally, on the north side.
We've also had, in terms of local manufacturing, places like Lockheed Martin shut their doors in late 2019. Places like Volgren, which build and maintain Brisbane City Council buses, be rejected by the Liberal city council, as they offshored those contracts. We've got to invest in our local manufacturing, and all of the local work, skills and apprenticeships that come along with that. That’s what Labor is about - addressing our climate emergency, investing in our renewables future, taking opportunities for our local economy and giving good, decent, secure jobs to local workers - that's what Federal Labor is all about.
SENATOR PENNY WONG, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Thanks very much. It's great to be here in Lilley with wonderful Anika Wells who is such a great local MP and someone with such a bright future, as a strong representative of this fabulous state.
It's wonderful to be here. It's been fantastic to go through with Jack, and other staff, through Gem Energy and to see firsthand, yet again, the sorts of job opportunities for Australians that action on climate change brings. Action on climate change creates jobs. Renewables create jobs. This is the reality that Australians understand, and Australians are already living. But they are being held back by a Government that doesn't believe this. They're being held back by a Prime Minister who is more interested in placating Barnaby Joyce than doing the right thing by Australian workers and Australian families.
There's been a lot of talk lately about whether or not Barnaby Joyce will finally sign up to an announcement that Scott Morrison can put in his pocket and try and go to Glasgow with. Well, let's be very clear, any deal that Barnaby Joyce signs up for, is a deal that won't deliver. Any deal on climate, that Barnaby Joyce signs up for, will just be more spin from a Government that has never been sincere on climate and has never delivered when it comes to renewable energy jobs.
Happy to take questions...
Anyway, thank you very much for being here. Thanks very much Anika for arranging this fantastic opportunity and thanks Jack - really appreciate it.
Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.