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If you were to ask people what they want out of their politicians, most people will say clear and open leadership. The problem for politicians is that that the moment they attempt to provide leadership, the same people will argue any initiative into non-existence. Why? I dunno.

I think there is an argument and it is persuasive (I have presented all over the country on this theme, mostly to senior HR managers, about the new roles for HR managers in a climate change reforming world), that responding to climate change will create jobs, make some jobs and occupations obsolete, and add to the labour market woes confronted by employers. Hopefully we will see the genius of the market system, coupled with government intervention to prompt the development of the right skills, research, innovation and diffusion, and far-sighted employers looking after their medium term interests with their employees and unions, in operation here….

Rant Over. Back to work gerry, you verbose malingerer. No, blogging is not work.

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Setting price will create ‘34,000 jobs’
Adam Morton
February 28, 2011

A CARBON price aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 could help create 34,000 jobs in regional Australia, research says.

To be launched today by independent MP Tony Windsor, the report by the Climate Institute predicts that a substantial carbon price, backed by renewable energy policies, would trigger tens of billions of dollars of investment in geothermal, large-scale solar, bio-energy, hydro, wind and gas.

In Victoria, the number of people employed in the electricity industry was projected to increase over the next two decades despite some job losses as coal-fired power plants closed.

 The new jobs would be concentrated in the state’s Western District, central highlands and the Mallee.

Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said the report, based on work conducted by consultants SKM-MMA and Ernst & Young, showed that clean-energy projects could provide an economic foundation to support strong regional populations.

It challenged claims that tackling climate change would cost jobs and hurt the economy.

“It is important we have a discussion about the costs and how to manage them, but it is also important to look at the benefits and how you achieve those,” Mr Connor said.

Mr Windsor said the report showed regional Australia could be a big winner as renewable energy projects were developed.

It is estimated nearly 6900 new electricity industry jobs could be created in Victoria by 2030.

Nearly 4600 would be in power plant construction and about 1200 in manufacturing. More than 1000 would be permanent roles running new plants.

The total number of jobs in the industry would rise over the next five years as wind and gas plants were built, dip in the second half of the decade, but then grow dramatically after 2020 as more clean-energy technologies became commercially viable.

The report suggests about 40 per cent of Victoria’s electricity could come from clean sources by 2030, up from 5 per cent today.

Gas-fired power, with about a third the emissions of brown coal, would also expand dramatically to provide about a third of the state’s electricity.

Specific projections for Victoria include:

■ More than 1500 jobs created in wind and geothermal energy in the south-west around Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton.
■ Nearly 1200 new jobs relating to building and running large-scale solar plants in the Mallee.
■ About 600 new jobs in wind in the central highlands around Ballarat and Bendigo.
■ In the Latrobe Valley, the loss of about 500 permanent jobs in coal power, but the creation of 720 construction jobs building new gas and renewable plants.

The modelling does not consider the impact of the possible implementation of carbon capture and storage technology.

The jobs figures are based on a carbon price starting at $47 in 2012, the national 20 per cent renewable energy target, and policies to encourage clean technologies, including loan guarantees and tax credits.

The research won the support of the ACTU and several energy companies.

Tony Maher, the president of the mining and energy union, applauded the Climate Institute for focusing on jobs, skills and training as the key to Australia cutting emissions.

http://www.climateinstitute.org.au

March 20, 2009 – 5:02PM

Mr Swan conceded forecasts predicting an unemployment rate of 7.0% next year are now dated.
Australia is likely to suffer a jobless rate above 7% because of the growing severity of the global economic recession, Treasurer Wayne Swan says.

A further downgrade in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) global growth forecasts suggests the federal government’s own outlook for Australia – devised only last month – is now outdated.

“So what we are seeing is a sharper contraction in the global economy and the consequence of that for Australia is slower growth and higher unemployment,” Mr Swan said.

He refused to make any predictions at this stage, saying updated forecasts will be included in the budget, due to be delivered on May 12.

In February, the government’s updated Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecast economic growth for Australia of just 0.75% for 2009-10 while predicting an unemployment rate of 7.0% next year.

In IMF staff notes from last weekend’s G20 finance meeting, released early on Friday, the institution said it now projected global economic growth would contract by 0.5% to 1% in 2009 on an average annual basis.

This would be the sharpest decline in global growth in the postwar era and a 1 to 0.5 percentage point downgrade from the IMF’s January forecast.

There was no specific forecast for Australia, but advanced economies are now expected to contract between 3% and 3.5% on average.

Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says the Australian economy has likely entered a recession in the first three months of this year, at least in the technical sense.

In the December quarter, the economy recorded its first negative quarter in eight years, contracting by 0.5%.

A technical recession is defined as two quarters of negative economic growth.

“Certainly, there aren’t many people who believe that the March quarter will show positive growth,” Mr Turnbull said. “So, if it shows negative growth we are technically in a recession.”

Nomura Australia chief economist Stephen Roberts agrees.

“There’s no way under the sun that we can possibly avoid recession, and we are effectively in it anyway,” he said.

Mr Roberts is already more pessimistic than the government about the outlook for unemployment next year, with a forecast above 8%.

He may revise that up even further.

“It’s just the way in which the unemployment has gone up so fast, and we haven’t had the pullback in employment yet.”

The unemployment rate jumped to 5.2% in February from 4.5% in December.

The jobless rate was being bolstered by an unusually high workforce participation rate supported by the current economic climate, Mr Roberts said.

This was caused partly by people in their late 50s and early 60s putting off retirement because their superannuation had been “trashed” by global sharemarket volatility.

In downgrading its forecasts, the IMF urged governments to take further action to stimulate their economies.

Mr Swan said the government had already put in place stimulus measures worth about 2% of gross domestic product (GDP), an amount recommended by the IMF.

“Most of that direct investment kicks in in the second half of this year and through next year.”

Further measures would be undertaken if required, he said.

But Mr Turnbull said any stimulus must be responsible and deliver results.

“You can’t just say: ‘I’m spending money’ and call it a stimulus and that makes it effective,” he said. “You’ve got to make sure you get a bang for the buck.”

http://business.theage.com.au/business/jobless-forecast-too-low-swan-20090320-93vr.html