Tackling climate adds regional jobs: Labor
Dealing with climate change offers job and business opportunities for regional Australians, says Labor leader Anthony Albanese.
Mr Albanese will use a speech to the NSW Country Labor conference in Singleton on Saturday to outline his vision for rural and regional areas and take a political pot-shot at the Nationals.
"Last week I announced that a future Labor government would adopt a target of zero net emissions by 2050," he will say.
"We will talk with a broad spectrum of farmers, workers, business and organisations to develop the roadmap to get us there."
The National Farmers' Federation has adopted a carbon neutrality objective.
Meat and Livestock Australia has said a net zero emissions red meat sector by as soon as 2030 is achievable.
However, the Nationals argue being over-ambitious on cutting emissions risks pushing up power prices, making energy less reliable and damaging rural industry.
"While the government runs scare campaigns about job losses for cynical political gain, Labor and the real world see opportunities for regional Australia," Mr Albanese says.
The Clean Energy Council has estimated there are 29 large-scale renewable energy projects across regional NSW alone, either under construction or due to start soon, worth around $6 billion and delivering 4000 jobs.
With the development of an Australian hydrogen industry, regional Australia would be a natural home for expanded industries in aluminium, steel, silicon and ammonia, Mr Albanese says.
There are also huge opportunities for carbon farming, which had the potential to capture one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, generating a new source of income for farmers in the process.
Forestry and rare earth element mining could also generate jobs.
"To deny energy alternatives as the Nationals do is to rob regional communities of their future," Mr Albanese will say.