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Greens launch plan to turn Queensland’s sunshine into steel

Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP and QLD Greens Senate candidate Penny Allman-Payne have announced the latest Greens policy to support jobs and development in coal regions as coal is phased out in the coming decades. 

The Greens are announcing their plan to create Green Metals Australia in Townsville today, driving $5.9 billion of investment and coordinating strategic development of the critical minerals and green metals processing and manufacturing industries. 

The announcement is part of Adam Bandt and Penny Allman-Payne’s regional tour of Queensland coal mining areas where the pair will also outline how the recently announced job-for-job guarantee wage for coal workers would secure coal workers’ wages as they move into new mining, metal processing and manufacturing industries. 

Australia has an abundance of critical minerals and metal ores that are crucial to the shift to electrification and decarbonisation of the world’s economy, in particular the lithium, copper, nickel and cobalt resources that are behind the boom in lithium-ion batteries and renewable energy. 

The Greens have also previously announced that government owned Snowy Hydro would build $40 billion of new renewables and storage supported by a $25 billion Future Grid plan to support the development of new transmission infrastructure to link renewable energy zones across regional Australia. 

Quotes attributable to Adam Bandt, Leader of the Australian Greens: 

“The best job for a coal miner is another mining job, or a job in metals processing or manufacturing.” 

“Coal workers should be guaranteed well-paid secure jobs in energy, manufacturing and mining. As we move out of thermal coal over the next decade and metallurgical coal over the next two, we need to invest in jobs and industries in regional Queensland now.” 

“Coal is fuelling the climate crisis and making the floods in Queensland and New South Wales worse, but that’s not the workers’ fault. Coal workers need to be supported, not demonised. 

“Australia cannot only become a renewable energy superpower, we can become the foundry of the world, making green steel and aluminium and processing our copper, lithium, cobalt and nickel to make batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage.” 

“As the world goes through an energy transition, we have all the minerals and metals the world wants, but instead of just shipping it off we should be processing the metal and making what the world needs right here in Queensland. 

“And if we power this mining, manufacturing and processing with renewables, not only will the metals and products be green, we will be one of the world’s lowest cost producers, supporting the rest of the world to decarbonise with our exports.” 

“Green Metals Australia will be able to invest in existing industries and help create new ones in the years ahead and our job-for-job guarantee will mean coal workers who move to these new sectors will have their wage supported for a decade with no loss in pay.” 

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