The Western Australian government’s renewable energy package is a positive first step in responding to strong community demand and exploring the job creation opportunities in clean energy, said the state’s leading independent voice on climate change and jobs today.
The Clean State initiative is encouraging the McGowan government to go further, saying the package is encouraging, but only scratches the surface of the incredible job opportunities that lie in renewable energy.
Clean State director of research and policy, Chantal Caruso, said the $66.3million package, part of the government’s $2.77billion recovery plan, was a step in the right direction.
“The plan to provide solar panels to 500 social housing homes will provide a glimpse into what could be done to generate jobs, cut power bills, and reduce carbon emissions. In June, Clean State launched a plan to fit our state’s entire social housing stock with energy efficiency measures, including solar panels. Applying this across 45,000 homes would create four thousand new jobs for Western Australians, cut power bills by up to $1,600 a year per household, and cut carbon emissions by 280,000 tonnes every year.”
“There are almost half a billion dollars in the government’s recovery plan for boosting housing and construction. This is also a huge opportunity to ensure these new builds are energy efficient and incorporate solar energy generation. Clean State’s proposal to build 15,000 energy-efficient new social housing homes would create 60,000 new jobs and take 14,000 households off the social housing waitlist and 1,000 West Australians off the streets.”
“The government’s plan to invest $4million in transforming ten schools into ‘smart, green Virtual Power Plants’ will deliver a sample of what could be achieved with the same measures rolled out in the more than 1,000 schools across our state – a key part of the Clean State Jobs and Recovery plan we put to government. Research conducted in June showed overwhelming public support for investment in clean energy, social housing and public transport. People want a recovery plan that moves our state into the 21st century and gears the economy to serve the people and the environment,” Ms Caruso said.
Clean State, working in collaboration with industry experts from a range of sectors, has produced a jobs stimulus plan to create 238,000 new jobs in Western Australia while also delivering much-needed infrastructure and cutting pollution.
In addition to Clean State’s housing and retrofitting proposals, the plan includes initiatives in schools, energy policy, public transport and other areas.
“Again, the Government’s proposal for solar panels at 60 bus and train stations shows the way forward for what could be achieved. We look forward to these initiatives being expanded and extended in the future to deliver opportunities for more communities, provide more jobs, and reduce carbon pollution further,” said Ms Caruso.
“Western Australia has vast potential in clean energy – we should harness it to power our state’s economic recovery and that is what Western Australians overwhelmingly want to see.”