2022 Election Environment & Climate commitments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Albanese Labor team made many policy and funding commitments over the election period.

We thought it would be handy to put them all in one place so we can ensure that they are delivered.

 

Powering Australia

Labor's plan to create jobs, cut power bills and reduce emissions by boosting renewable energy.

Our plan will create 604,000 jobs, with 5 out of 6 new jobs to be created in the regions.

It will spur $76 billion of investment. 

It will cut power bills for families and businesses by $275 a year for homes by 2025, compared to today. 

Powering Australia will prioritise growth and investment for the regions that have served as Australia’s engine room for so long – that know energy, manufacturing and resources.  

Under a Labor Government, those regions will continue to power Australia and provide a stream of exports into the future.

Alongside the economic benefits, our plan will reduce Australia’s emissions by 43% by 2030 – which will become Australia’s target under the Paris Agreement, keeping us on track for net zero by 2050.

Labor's Powering Australia plan will:

  • Upgrade the electricity grid to fix energy transmission and drive down power prices.
  • Make electric vehicles cheaper with an electric car discount and Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy.
  • Adopt the Business Council of Australia’s recommendation for facilities already covered by the Government’s Safeguard Mechanism that emissions be reduced gradually and predictably over time, to support international competitiveness and economic growth – consistent with industry’s own commitment to net zero by 2050.
  • Protect the competitiveness of Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed industries by ensuring they will not face a greater constraint than their competitors.
  • Allocate up to $3 billion from Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminium); clean energy component manufacturing; hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching; agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction.
  • Provide direct financial support for measures that improve energy efficiency within existing industries and develop new industries in Regional Australia through a new Powering the Regions Fund.
  • Roll out 85 solar banks around Australia to ensure more households can benefit from rooftop solar.
  • Install 400 community batteries across the country.
  • Demonstrate Commonwealth leadership by reducing the Australian Public Service’s own emissions to net zero by 2030.
  • Invest in 10,000 New Energy Apprentices and a New Energy Skills Program.
  • Establish a real-world vehicle fuel testing program to inform consumer choice.
  • Work with large businesses to provide greater transparency on their climate related risks and opportunities.
  • Re-establish leadership by restoring the role of the Climate Change Authority, while keeping decision-making and accountability with Government and introducing new annual Parliamentary reporting by the Minister.

Rewiring the nation

Labor’s Rewiring the Nation will invest $20 billion to rebuild and modernise the grid, in line with a blueprint already completed by the Australian Energy Market Operator and signed off by all governments.

Modernising the grid will provide thousands of new construction jobs for Australians, many of those in our regions.

It will revitalise traditional industries like steel and aluminium and allow growth in new sectors like hydrogen and battery production.

Fixing transmission is technology neutral and will allow the market to drive least cost, reliable new energy production.

By establishing the Rewiring the Nation Corporation (RNC) and keeping it in public hands as a government-owned entity, Labor will ensure the grid is rebuilt at the best price possible.

The RNC will partner with industry and provide low cost finance to build the Integrated System Plan. The end result will be cheaper electricity prices for homes and businesses.

And Labor will ensure Australia’s modern energy grid will be built by Australian workers using Australian suppliers by mandating local supply and local labour.

Community Batteries for Household Solar

Power to the People is going to fix that for up to 100,000 Australian households, by installing 400 community batteries across the country.

It’s a $200 million investment to cut power bills, cut emissions and reduce pressure on the electricity grid.

And it will allow households that can’t install solar – like apartment owners and renters – to draw from excess electricity stored in community batteries.

Increasing battery storage across the country is vital to taking full advantage of cheap solar energy.

While models will be tailored to local needs, community batteries will be funded by the Commonwealth, installed by licensed electricians, and operated by network operators.

Once a battery is installed in a community, providers will invite local households to participate – just like they offer solar and battery schemes now.

It just makes good sense to share a single community battery among up to 250 households instead of expecting every household to pay for the purchase, installation and maintenance of their own battery.

Solar households without batteries have to rely on the electricity grid when the sun isn’t shining. Increasing battery storage will:

  • Cut power bills for households – by taking advantage of inexpensive solar energy that can be stored and used at peak times;
  • Cut emissions - by increasing the total use of renewable energy; and
  • Reduce pressure on the grid – by reducing community reliance on the grid at peak times when the sun isn’t shining.

New Energy Apprenticeships

To encourage apprentices to train in the new energy jobs of the future, and to provide the additional support they need to complete their training, an Albanese Labor Government will invest $100 million to support 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships.

Apprentices who choose to train in new energy industries will receive up to $10,000 - $2,000 on commencement, and $2,000 a year for up to four years afterwards, including on successful completion.

This will help to increase apprentice uptake, boost retention and improve completions.

Examples of eligible industries include rooftop solar installation and maintenance, large-scale renewable projects, energy efficiency upgrades to homes and businesses, green hydrogen, renewable manufacturing, and relevant agricultural activities.

10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships will be available over four years (2,500 commencements a year from 2022-23).

New Energy Skills Program

To tailor skills training to the specific needs of new energy industries, Labor will also invest $10 million in a New Energy Skills Program.

Under the Program, Labor will work with the states and territories, industry and unions to ensure workers have access to training pathways that are fit-for purpose. This initiative will boost existing work by the TAFE sector to develop skills and build workforce capability.

As part of the Program, Labor will also develop a mentoring program in which experienced workers in new energy industries help to train and support new apprentices.

 

Labor's Electric Car Discount

A Labor Government will introduce an Electric Car Discount – to make electric cars cheaper so that more families who want them can afford them, and to reduce emissions.

As part of the Discount, Labor will exempt many electric cars from:

  • Import tariffs – a 5 per cent tax on some imported electric cars; and
  • Fringe benefits tax – a 47 per cent tax on electric cars that are provided through work for private use.

These exemptions will be available to all electric cars below the luxury car tax threshold for fuel efficient vehicles ($77,565 in 2020-21).

This cut-off will encourage car manufacturers to import and supply more affordable electric models in Australia.

To support the Electric Car Discount, a Labor Government will also work with industry, unions, states and consumers to develop Australia’s first National Electric Vehicle Strategy, including consideration of:

  • further measures to increase electric car sales and infrastructure;
  • policy settings to encourage Australian manufacturing of electric car components (especially batteries) and possibly cars themselves; and
  • ways to address the policy implications of declining fuel excise.

Labor will consider how the Commonwealth’s existing investment in infrastructure can be leveraged to increase charging stations across the country and consider how other existing Commonwealth investments, including in its fleet, property and leases, can also be leveraged.

Labor’s Electric Car Discount will begin on 1 July 2022 and be reviewed after three years, in light of electric car take up at that time.

Driving the Nation

Labor will double the Commonwealth’s investment to $500 million and establish a new Driving the Nation Fund. The first two investments from the new Fund will be a National EV Charging Network and a national expansion of Hydrogen Highways.

A National EV Charging Network

Along with cost, ‘range anxiety’ is a major barrier to EV uptake. Labor will invest $39.3 million (matched by the NRMA) to deliver 117 fast charging stations on highways across Australia. This will provide charging stations at an average interval of 150km on major roads. The stations will be interoperable with all EV models and all other charging networks, and will use local content wherever possible.

This will mean that, for first time, people will be able to truly drive around Australia in an EV.

It will fill in the gaps in the charging network, so that it will be possible to drive from:

  • Adelaide to Perth, across the Nullarbor.
  • Darwin to Broome and on to Perth.
  • Broken Hill to Adelaide.
  • Port Augusta to Darwin.
  • Brisbane to Mt Isa and on to Tennant Creek.

Hydrogen Highways

Labor will work with the States and Territories to roll out Hydrogen Highways nationally, matching the funding already committed by New South Wales and Victoria ($20 million) and making the same amount available to other jurisdictions on a matching basis (up to $60 million). Based on a recent agreement between New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Labor’s investment could deliver 16 hydrogen refuelling stations on Australia’s busiest freight routes. 

Labor will continue to deliver the Driving the Nation Fund through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and will coordinate public investment to ensure that it does not duplicate or crowd out private efforts.

Read the documents associated with the launch of Labor's Climate Change policy.

Media Release

The full policy, Powering Australia

Reputex, economic modelling of Labor's Climate Change policy 

Protecting our Unique Environment

Labor has a proud history of protecting the environment. Labor’s legacy in government is that we protected the Daintree, Kakadu, the Great Barrier Reef, the Franklin and Antarctica. We created Landcare and we created the largest network of marine parks in the world.

Urban Rivers and Catchments Program

Nearly half of all nationally listed threatened animals and one quarter of our threatened plants are in urban areas. Taking steps to repair and restore our waterways and catchments helps protect these species and create great recreational areas for local communities.

Labor’s plan for Urban Rivers and Catchments will help protect species like the Regent Honeyeater, the Curlew Sandpiper, the Koala, several frog species and the loggerhead turtle.

Labor’s $200 million program will help fund that work to make an even bigger impact, including by:

  • Creating wetlands to slow water flow and filter stormwater before it reaches our rivers
  • Citizen science and education projects for pre-schoolers and school age children
  • Removing cement walls and returning them to natural riverbanks
  • Revegetation and tree planting

It is expected the fund would provide grants for as many as 100 projects, depending on project size, with smaller community group projects likely to be less than $1m and larger projects involving state and local governments eligible for up to $10m.

Doubling Indigenous Rangers

The Indigenous Rangers Program provides valuable employment for Indigenous people in regional and rural communities, maintains connection to country, grows local economies and protects and restores the environment.

Labor will double the number of Rangers by the end of the decade to 3,800.

Labor will work towards a target of gender equality in ranger positions so that these roles are accessible to all.

Boosting support for Indigenous Protected Areas

Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) are areas of land and sea managed by Indigenous groups as protected areas. IPAs make up a substantial part of our National Reserve System and are important for maintaining cultural sites, biodiversity conservation and restoration.

An Albanese Labor Government will significantly boost funding for the management of IPAs, providing an additional $10 million each year.

The funding will mean that Traditional Owners, Indigenous Rangers and groups will receive further support and autonomy in their traditional land and sea management practices. The funding will be used for things like improving biosecurity, restoring biodiversity, and managing cultural sites.

Labor will provide certainty for Ranger groups and IPAs by committing to longer contracts and requiring that contract extension negotiations begin no later than eighteen months before the end of the contract.

Indigenous cultural water

An Albanese Labor Government will deliver the $40 million of cultural water promised in 2018. There are some 75,000 Indigenous people living in Australia’s Murray Darling Basin and most are Traditional Owners from one of over 40 autonomous First Nations. Despite this, Indigenous groups only hold 0.1% of the total value of the water market.

Labor will work to increase First Nations peoples’ ownership of water entitlements in the Murray Darling Basin by providing a full response to the Productivity Commission’s recommendations in its National Water Reform report.

Labor will make sure that First Nations peoples’ authority, knowledge and experience better informs the work of relevant agencies and is incorporated into planning for environmental watering.

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef and Securing Reef Jobs

We will deliver an additional $194.5 million in reef protection programs over the forward estimates, on top of existing programs. This will bring total investment by 2030 to almost $1.2 billion. Labor will:

  • Work with farmers on more efficient fertiliser use, fence paddocks, boost precision agriculture, install real-time water quality sensors, and create on-farm and land restoration jobs.
  • Invest an additional $85 million over the forward estimates for shovel ready catchment and reef restoration projects.
  • Protect turtles, dugongs and dolphins from threats including plastic pollution, egg predation, illegal poaching and accidental take, as well as work with the fishing industry to ensure a sustainable fishing sector.
  • Protect key coral reefs and tourism sites by expanding Crown of Thorns culling programs.
  • Advance research into thermal tolerant corals to help climate adaption, in partnership with the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
  • Provide an additional one-off grant of $15 million for the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Research Centre at CQ University in Gladstone, to boost local research.
  • Continue and double funding for the Reef 2050 Plan, which currently ends in mid-2023, with an additional $94.5 million over the forward estimates.

Indigenous rangers will play a lead role in reef preservation – with Labor ensuring an allocation of at least $100 million of protection and restoration work to Indigenous ranger organisations by the end of the decade.

Landcare Rangers

  • To restore and protect our natural environment, Labor will deliver up to 1,000 full time equivalent Landcare Rangers across the country. 
  • Landcare Rangers will work with local Landcare and Natural Resource Management groups on practical restoration and conservation projects.

Projects and locations will be selected based on environmental and biodiversity benefits, as well as local underemployment, unemployment and participation rates. 

Landcare Rangers will have the opportunity to access Labor’s fee-free TAFE program to study relevant courses in areas of skills shortage. Where possible people will also gain credit towards their course from their work as a Landcare Ranger.

As Landcare Ranger positions will have a training and skills development focus, positions will be for 12 months, on average. With up to 1,000 positions in total over the next 4 years.

Landcare Ranger jobs will have proper pay and conditions. Grant payments will be made to organisations including Landcare groups and Natural Resource Management bodies to deliver the positions.

This investment in Landcare Rangers will cost $75 million over the forward estimates.

Saving Native Species Program

Labor’s Saving Native Species Program will help arrest species decline and restore populations of endangered plants and animals. It will also help clear the backlog of overdue recovery plans – which is important to make sure we take action to stop extinctions.

This investment of $224.5 million over the forward estimates will mean Labor can:  

  • Work with States and Territories on a national koala conservation strategy.
  • Expand koala hospitals and services and invest in koala chlamydia vaccines and fertility projects.
  • Boost protection for native species and combat invasive species including by investing:
    • $24.8 million to fight Yellow Crazy Ants in Cairns and Townsville.
    • $24.5 million for koala conservation programs.

Oceans and Marine Parks

Labor in government has a longstanding and proud record when it comes to ocean protection, including the prevention of mining or military activity in Antarctica, and the creation of the world’s largest network of marine parks.  

Through our enduring commitment to Australia’s oceans, an Albanese Labor Government will:

  • work with stakeholders to complete the management plans for the new marine parks in the Christmas Island and Cocos/Keeling Islands;

  • provide $4 million to states and territory governments, like the Northern Territory, to address existing capacity shortcomings in managing state marine parks, which will protect fisheries impacted by ocean warming and will stimulate tourism in coastal areas;

  • renew efforts to establish a marine park in the East Antarctic Region;

  • undertake timely and properly resourced reviews of the marine park management plans for Heard and McDonalds Islands and for Macquarie Island;

  • ensure the statutory review processes of the national marine parks network are carried out in a timely and consultative manner, with any changes considered on the basis of science and stakeholder consultation;

  • work with states to assess the adequacy of the protection that covers breeding and feeding grounds, including coastal zones and ecosystems like seagrass, kelp forests, mangroves, and offshore sites like reefs and zones where ocean currents meet;

  • consider a framework that addresses the importation of seafood from fisheries that involve illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices; and

  • play an active leadership role in supporting negotiations towards both a international agreement on the High Seas and on Marine Litter and Microplastics.

Waste and Recycling Plan

An Albanese Labor Government will lead the national shift to sustainable procurement. In conjunction with Labor’s Future Made in Australia Policy we will task the Future Made in Australia Office with:

  • Strengthening the existing environmental sustainability provision in the government’s purchasing and contracting rules (the Commonwealth Procurement Rules), with a view to increasing the use of recycled content.

  • Supporting industry to increase the use of recycled content in government projects.

This will mean more recycled material gets used in big government contracts, driving up demand for recycled content and making it easier and cheaper for the private sector too.

Labor will also invest $60 million into additional recycling infrastructure through the Recycling Modernisation Fund.

Addressing our waste crisis

Despite the best efforts of Australian households and the hard work and investment of the resource management sector, Australia’s waste crisis continues to deepen.  

Labor created Australia’s first National Waste Policy and initiated the product stewardship framework that showed what could be achieved. We will pick up the delayed and missing pieces in the National Waste Policy Action Plan, work with industry to improve arrangements for key materials like plastics and packaging, and lead collaboration with local, State, and Territory governments to make greater progress in standardising high-quality kerbside collection, phasing out harmful single-use plastics, and harmonising state-based container deposit schemes.

Environmental Law Reform and a National Environmental Protection Agency

Labor will provide a full response to the Samuel Review, and commit to ongoing consultation on law reform, to make sure our environmental laws work better for environmental protection, while speeding up processes for jobs generating project proposals.

Labor will establish an independent Environment Protection Agency that would have two divisions:

  • A compliance and assurance division; and
  • An environmental data, information and analysis division.

The data division will respond to community, stakeholder and industry views that Australia needs to improve our efforts, as a nation, to collect and store environmental data, to help inform decision-making and policy development, and to reduce transaction costs for environmental assessments.

The division will be a custodian for national environmental information, and will take a leadership role in environmental accounting in Australia, consistent with the Samuel Review which stated:

“The collection of data and information is fragmented and disparate. There is no clear, authoritative source of environmental information that people can rely on. This adds cost for business and government, as they collect and recollect the information they need.” (p24)

Labor will consult widely with industry and other relevant stakeholders to develop an appropriate and efficient sector-contribution funding model for the Environment Protection Agency.

International Environmental Leadership

World Heritage

Labor has a proud history of environmental conservation through the nomination of World Heritage sites, including the Daintree Wet Tropics in Queensland, Shark Bay in Western Australia, Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta in the Northern Territory, the Gondwana rainforests in New South Wales, and the Tasmanian Wilderness. 

An Albanese Labor Government will: 

  • Take steps to maintain World Heritage status for Australia’s currently listed sites, including the Great Barrier Reef. 
  • Pursue the World Heritage listing of Murujuga and the Flinders Rangers, working with States and Territories.
  • Look into the expansion of World Heritage protection for the Cape York Peninsula and West Kimberley, and into adding cultural and Indigenous heritage values as part of World Heritage and National Heritage listed areas, including the Daintree. 
  • Deliver the $276 million promised but not delivered to the Kakadu national park. 
  • Work to add the Paramatta Female Factory to the World Heritage Listing of Australian Convict sites and support Copenhagen’s nomination of the Victorian Trades Hall to the World Heritage list.

International leadership 

An Albanese Labor Government will give an annual ministerial statement on Australia’s effort in international environmental leadership, such as protecting whales, supporting an East Antarctic Marine Park, participating in CoPs for environmental conventions. 

We will play an active leadership role in supporting negotiations towards both an international agreement on the High Seas and on Marine Litter and Microplastics.

Labor governments have played critical roles in international agreements in the past, including in the Montreal Agreement to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which were making a hole in the ozone layer, and partnering with France to stop the mining of Antarctica. 

An Albanese Labor Government will commit to the High Ambition Coalition’s pledge to protect 30% of land and seas by 2030, which has now been signed by more than 90 countries.

Labor’s commitment to increase funding for the management of Indigenous Protected Areas is an important part of increasing the proportion of land under protection.

Strengthening Access to Justice

An Albanese Government will invest $25 million to boost funding for the legal assistance sector, including: 

  • $12 million over four years to community legal centres assisting victims of fires and floods in Queensland and NSW. This investment will help meet the unprecedented increase in demand for legal services following these natural disasters and help those seeking to rebuild their lives, homes and financial security.

  • $8 million to the Environmental Defenders Office and $1 million to Environmental Justice Australia to restore funding and continue representing Australians from all walks of life, from farmers to First Nations people to community and environmental groups who want to uphold our laws and protect Australia’s precious natural assets. 

  • $1 million to support the leadership of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS), the representative peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services.

  • $3 million to support the work of the National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum, which advocates for First Nations people experiencing family violence, especially women and children.

These commitments are in addition to Labor’s commitment of $13.5 million to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services to ensure families who have lost loved ones in custody can access culturally appropriate legal assistance for coronial inquests.

Disaster Readiness

An Albanese Labor Government will improve Australia’s disaster readiness by investing up to $200 million per year on disaster prevention and resilience.

Labor’s Disaster Ready Fund will curb the devastating impacts of natural disasters by investing in important disaster prevention projects like flood levees, sea walls, cyclone shelters, evacuation centres, fire breaks and telecommunications improvements.

Labor’s Plan for Disaster Readiness will also:

  • Continue to fully fund disaster recovery through the existing Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements
  • Cut red tape so disaster resilience funding can get out the door faster
  • Improve the efficiency of disaster recovery processes, to simplify and speed up payments to disaster victims and repairs to damaged infrastructure.
  • Assist with spiralling insurance premiums in disaster-prone regions, by reducing the risk of expensive damage to homes and businesses.

If matched by State, Territory or local governments, it would provide up to $400 million annually for investment in disaster prevention and resilience - something called for by groups as broad as the Government’s own Productivity Commission, insurers, local governments and disaster relief bodies.

Labor's Plan to Future-Proof Australia's Water Resources

Labor’s Water for Australia plan will future-proof Australia’s water resources by establishing a National Water Commission and broadening the National Water Grid Investment Framework so it can fund a wider range of water supply projects. Labor’s Water for Australia plan will:

  • Establish a National Water Commission – to drive ongoing water reform and future-proof Australia’s water resources.
  • Broaden the National Water Grid investment policy – to allow funding for a broader range of projects. This will bring essential town water supplies in regional and remote communities within the scope of the funding, in addition to funding agricultural projects. 
  • Deliver a five-point plan to safeguard the Murray Darling Basin – upholding the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and laying the groundwork for the Basin’s future:
    • Delivering on water commitments – including the 450GL for South Australia.
    • Increasing compliance, and improving metering and monitoring.
    • Restoring transparency, integrity and confidence in water markets and water management.
    • Increasing First Nations ownership and involvement in decision-making.
    • Updating the science.

Labor will establish a National Water Commission to drive ongoing water reform and future-proof Australia’s water resources. The National Water Commission will:

  • Lead cross-portfolio and cross-jurisdiction work to make sure our country has secure and sustainable access to water. 
  • Support the renewal of the National Water Initiative and conduct ongoing reviews.
  • Work with all other jurisdictions towards the implementation of the water-related priorities included in Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Priority List.
  • Break down silos between jurisdictions by working with States and Territories. Having a standing, formal, regular forum directly with Australian local governments to ensure their experience and expertise is taken into account on an ongoing basis.
  • Ensure First Nations knowledge and perspectives are taken into account in its work.

Labor will also broaden the National Water Grid investment policy, to allow funding for more projects. 

This will make essential town water supplies in regional and remote communities eligible for funding, so that projects like the Cairns Water Security project can be considered, in addition to the continued use of the fund for agriculture projects. In doing so Labor will ensure that critical water projects are able to gain access to government funding where they stack up environmentally and economically. 

Labor will invest $34 million over the forward estimates in establishing a National Water Commission.

 

A Future Made in Australia

 

National Reconstruction Fund

The National Reconstruction Fund is the first step in Labor’s plan to rebuild Australia’s industrial base.

The National Reconstruction Fund provides a crucial financing vehicle to specifically drive investment in projects that will build prosperity across the country, broadening our industrial base and boosting regional economic development.

The $15 billion Fund will provide loans, guarantees and equity to support projects that create secure well-paid jobs, drive regional development, and invest in our national sovereign capability, broadening and diversifying Australia’s economy.

Through the National Reconstruction Fund, Labor will partner with businesses to unlock further potential private investment of more than $30 billion.

This investment will play to our strengths supporting new and emerging industries, transitioning existing industries to net zero emissions and by making it easier to commercialise innovation and technology.

The National Reconstruction Fund will be administered by an independent board with government setting its mandate to drive investment in key sectors focusing on value adding and capability development to leverage Australia’s natural and competitive strengths including:

  • Value add in resources:Expand our mining science technology, ensure a greater share of the raw materials we extract are processed here, for example, high purity alumina from red mud in bauxite processing or lithium processing for batteries.
  • Value add in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors:Ensure we unlock potential and value add to our raw materials in sectors like food processing, and textiles, clothing and footwear manufacturing.
  • Transport:Develop our capabilities in transport manufacturing and supply chains including for cars, trains and shipbuilding.
  • Medical science:Fulfil our potential, given our world leading research, in providing essential supplies such as medical devices, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medicines and vaccines.
  • Renewables and low emission technologies:Pursue commercial opportunities including from; components for wind turbines; production of batteries and solar panels; new livestock feed to reducing methane emissions; modernising steel and aluminium; hydrogen electrolysers, and innovative packaging solutions for waste reduction.
  • Defence capability:Maximise our requirements being sourced from Australian suppliers employing Australian workers, whether they be technology, infrastructure or skills, complimenting Labor’s Defence Industry Development Strategy.
  • Enabling capabilities:Support key enabling capabilities across engineering, data science, software development including FinTech, EdTech, AI and robotics.

The $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund will have dedicated support allocated for investments in:

  • Powering Australia: An Albanese Labor Government will allocate up to $3 billion from Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund to invest in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminium); clean energy component manufacturing; hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching; agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction.
  • Medical Manufacturing: An Albanese Labor Government will back Australian medical manufacturing with a dedicated $1.5 billion Medical Manufacturing Fund, building on Labor’s Buy Australian Plan to work with industry to identify ways that government purchasing strategies can help build local medical manufacturing capability to create secure well-paid jobs.
  • Value Adding in Resources: An Albanese Labor Government will expand Australia’s mining science technology capability, create jobs and ensure a greater share of our raw materials are processed in Australia, through Labor’s $1 billion Value Adding in Resources Fund.
  • Critical Technologies: An Albanese Labor Government will expand Australia’s critical technology capability, in areas like Artificial Intelligence, robotics and quantum computing by setting up a Critical Technologies Fund to deliver $1 billion in investment support through loans, equity and guarantees for businesses in critical technologies. 
  • Advanced Manufacturing: An Albanese Labor Government will invest $1 billion in advanced manufacturing, as part of our commitment to create secure well-paid jobs and build a future made in Australia. Labor’s $1 billion investment will rebuild our industrial base creating new capabilities and opportunities to innovate in transport, defence, resources, agricultural and food processing, medical science, renewables and low emission technologies manufacturing.
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Food and Fiber: An Albanese Labor Government will reserve $500m of funding within our National Reconstruction Fund for Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Food and Fiber. This will encourage investment in value adding and growing exports, help diversify the sector and open up new possibilities for trade.

A Better Future for our Regions

Labor recognises the contribution farmers, workers and regional communities make to Australia’s agriculture sector, which provides diversity to our economic exports, creates almost 300,000 direct jobs, provides critical independence to our national food supply, and is a hallmark of the national identity.

Labor continues to support the National Farmers Federation’s ambitious goal to grow the value of Australia’s agriculture industry to $100 billion by 2030.

To help diversify the sector, open up new possibilities for trade and create more jobs and economic activity in the regions, Labor has announced it will reserve $500 million of its National Reconstruction Fund specifically for agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and fibre.

Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund is also available to support regional businesses such as in food manufacturing as they meet the challenges of entering new markets, the adoption of new technologies or processes and adapting to a low carbon world.

Labor’s National Reconstruction Fund will support investment in value-adding production, expand the domestic and export market and strengthen our national supply chain resilience.

Bolstering Australia’s biosecurity system

That’s why an elected Albanese Labor Government will deliver long-term, sustainable funding that will go directly to strengthening Australia’s biosecurity system.

Labor will improve biosecurity capabilities including addressing the potential impact of lumpy skin disease, supporting the adoption of livestock traceability reforms and reducing the impact of pests and weeds.

Labor will also double the number of Indigenous Rangers and boost funding for Indigenous Protected Areas which will assist with the early detection of exotic animal disease in those areas.

A Labor Government will strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system across mail centres and airports. To help keep pests, weeds and disease out of Australia, Labor will boost our biosecurity services by providing an additional 20 biosecurity detector dogs. To support our canine response, Labor will also provide for an additional 10 biosecurity detector dog handlers.

Supporting the forestry sector and addressing the timber shortage

We are committed to growing Australia's forest plantations, and to the continued sustainable management of the native timber industry. And we are committed to value adding to Australia’s fine forest products.

Labor is also committed to the one billion trees goal to meet Australia’s future timber needs.

An elected Albanese Labor Government will provide almost $220 million to expand the work of the National Institute for Forest Products and Innovation, continue the rollout of Regional Forestry Hubs to work with industry and state and local governments, and for grants targeted at better utilisation of logs and fibre, value adding and supporting the industry to continue to reduce its carbon footprint.

Labor will also provide $86.2 million for the establishment of new plantations to secure future wood supply and $4.4 million towards Australia’s illegal logging traceability and timber identification systems.

And the forestry sector can expect a share of investment through the $500 million for agriculture, forestry and fisheries under the National Reconstruction Fund.

Labor has reiterated its policy of removing the water rule in relation to the Emissions Reduction Fund and carbon farming, helping to encourage growth in the plantation resource across the country.

In addition to these measures an elected Albanese Labor Government will:

  • Invest $10 million to support programs which deliver qualifications, competencies and other credentials which meet the specific training and accreditation needs of the forest, wood products, pulp and paper and fibre sectors.
  • Conduct an analysis of the national wood volume and the commercial opportunities from fire mitigation activities to ensure valuable wood resources are not wasted amid a timber shortage.
  • Hold a roundtable with the forestry sector, unions, States and Territories as part of the development of a Timber Fibre Strategy to ensure our existing forestry resources are being best utilised.

The Master Builders Association and the Australian Forest Products Association say Australia is heading towards a deficit of 250,000 timber house frames by 2035.

Labor’s continued commitment to remove the water rule will mean more trees in the ground. Investment in innovative ways to use the timber resources we have to make new building materials will help stop construction costs from continuing to soar.

Supporting sustainable fisheries

We acknowledge fishers as key stakeholder groups in respect of Australia’s sustainable management of its diverse and extensive freshwater and saltwater environment and we know they are practically and philosophically committed to protecting Australia’s biodiversity.  

While in the lead-up to the 2019 election we believed there was scope to consider adjustments to park boundaries and zonal classifications, we accept that since that time the network has been delivered in a settled form.  Certainty in park management is critical and we don’t intend to revisit that matter.

As fishers know better than most, our oceans and the biodiversity they support are under increasing pressure, including from plastic pollution and climate change, and it is vital we keep pursuing effective protection and restoration efforts. To that end, Labor supports the Government’s recent announcement of a Cocos/Keeling and Christmas Island marine park, and a Labor Government will ensure the statutory review process of the national marine park network is carried out in a timely and consultative manner, with any changes considered on the basis of science and stakeholder consultation.  

An elected Albanese Labor Government will provide $4 million to small States and Territory Governments, such as the Northern Territory, to address existing capacity shortcomings in managing state marine parks.  We will be proactive in helping to develop the global treaty on marine plastic pollution that was recently agreed at UNEA 5.2.

Labor has consistently opposed the operation of foreign ‘super trawlers’ that would undermine the health of Australia’s commercial and recreational fisheries, and we will give consideration in government to a framework that addresses the importation of seafood from fisheries in our region that involve illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing practices, noting this already occurs in the US and EU.

Labor is mindful of the harm caused by invasive marine species and have been critical of the Government’s failure to include any Australian marine species in its flawed Threatened Species Strategy 2015-2020.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

An elected Albanese Labor Government will work with farmers to develop more solutions to act on climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

As part of this policy Labor has already announced $8 million to encourage the development of the Australian seaweed farming industry. This research is important with the use of asparagopsis in feed when it comes to reducing methane emissions from livestock.

Disaster Ready Fund

An elected Albanese Labor Government will replace the Emergency Response Fund with a Disaster Ready Fund, and we’ll use that fund to invest up to $200 million a year on mitigation projects to help reduce the impact of disasters when they happen.

Addressing the crippling agriculture workforce shortage

We know there is a crippling workforce shortage across the agriculture sector.

An elected Albanese Labor Government will deliver a dedicated Agriculture Workers Visa that not only provides portability but also protections for workers. Labor’s ag visa will draw on the stability of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility program.

Labor will establish Jobs and Skills Australia as a national partnership to drive VET education and strengthen workforce planning by working together with employers, unions and the training and education sector.

We will also create 465,000 new fee-free TAFE places in areas of demonstrated labour shortage. These fee-free TAFE placements will help rebuild industries hit hardest by the pandemic, like hospitality and tourism, as well as meet current and future needs in the care economy, including jobs like child care, aged care, disability care, nursing and community services. This can only be a good thing for regional communities.

Agri Tech Hub

An elected Albanese Labor Government will invest $16.7 million towards establishing an Agri Tech Hub in Richmond NSW.

The hub will include a high-tech industry partnered greenhouse array, supported by industry engaged research clusters in food technology, land use management and consumer demand. It will focus on creating jobs, attracting industry, and developing a sustainable approach to future peri-urban farming in our increasingly complex and changing cities, and on a global scale.

Regional development architecture

Labor believes it is time for a revitalisation of the Regional Development Australia (RDA) structure and purpose.

Labor wants to see a much stronger partnership with local government in this regard. We need a more coherent and logical architecture for how federal government works in the regions.

In this context, the NFF’s current regional precinct proposal is timely, and well-considered.  

While Labor would seek to invest in all regions across Australia, we will consider the proposed approach from the NFF, along with other stakeholders, as we reinvigorate and rejuvenate the regional development structures that we will inherit, should we form government.  

Right now, Northern Australia needs stable leadership and investment from our Federal Government. The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) has become a revolving door of CEOs and has failed to deliver what was promised. Of the $5 billion allocated to the Facility in 2016, only a small percentage has been released to projects across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. 

Supporting the Regional Australia Institute

The last Labor Government provided the seed funding to create the Regional Australia Institute, Australia’s first and only independent think tank dedicated to building robust regional economies and a better quality of life in our regional towns and cities.

In the decade since its creation, the Institute has gone from strength to strength, ensuring that decision-makers at all levels of government, industry and community have the information they need to ensure the best outcomes for regional Australia.

To enable the Institute to continue to grow, an Albanese Labor Government will invest $5 million over three years into the Regional Australia Institute. This funding will be used to bolster the Institute’s research and policy capacity in key regional priority areas, to extend activation and local impact initiatives that support regional areas; and to build new education programs that extend knowledge and best practice across regional Australia.

 

 

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