Profound structural change is already underway in Australia. The country is going through a poorly planned energy transition due to failures in government policy. Neither energy generators or the workers who rely on these sectors have the certainty they need. Inaction by the federal government has resulted in investment uncertainty and hence inconsistent growth in renewables, storage and efficiency.
This uncertainty, matched with the impacts of globalisation and climate change, and an industrial relations system that is not working for the benefit of the majority of working people has led to workers, particularly in regional Australia, exposed to changing industries and insecure jobs.
The Coalition has now been in power for six years, yet it still does not have a coherent energy policy which will deliver security of supply, investment in the technology of the future or put a cap on prices. Instead, it is squandering valuable time on attacking workers and their unions.
Unions continue to play a valuable role in the healthy functioning of our society and in defending the rights of working people. Any legislation which seeks to punish unions will be rejected by the bulk of the community. The Australian community wants to see a more collaborative approach to issues like industrial relations, not ideological attacks.
The Ensuring Integrity Bill and Worker Benefits Bill will only add to the uncertainty that many working Australians already feel.
In order to secure an energy transition in Australia that treats workers and their communities with respect, while tackling climate change, our country needs more workplace rights, not less. Attacking workers and their Unions will cause more delays and more uncertainty and put off the day when we see a just and fair transition to a low-carbon economy that meets everyone’s needs.
The groups signed on to this statement support the call from the Australian union movement to stop this Bill.