LEAN results at Australian Labor National Conference 2023
Chapter 1: An Economy that works for Everyone
Add a new paragraph after paragraph 6, and amend paragraph 115 as shown:
7. Labor understands the importance of ensuring that government policy and economic activity remains within ecological limits, mindful of impacts of the climate and bodiversity.
115. Labor will assist Australian agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries to capitalise on their economic and employment potention by adapting to climate change and consumer demand for high-quality, healthy food and sustainable fibre and forest products. Labor continues to work with the States, Territories, industries, unions and other voices to:
k. develop sustainable forestry, recognising carbon and biodiversity values and the demand for purpose-grown timber products, and
Chapter 3: Protecting Austalia's Climate, Environment and Energy Security
A new approach to forests and forestry
Labor is committed to building Australia’s carbon and environmental markets. It is a powerful way to restore and better manage landscapes, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create economic opportunity. Labor will prioritise investment in the highest carbon and biodiversity landscapes for restoration, protection and management and develop an industry plan that creates regional jobs and skills, and provides incentives to public and private landholders.
Labor is committed to delivering the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on forests and land use which commits Australia to “halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030”. Labor recognises that deforestation increases greenhouse gas emissions. Labor will deploy a variety of policy responses to deliver on our emission reduction and deforestation commitments including robust and additional nature-based solutions to prevent forest loss and degradation.
Labor will work with the states and territories on national vegetation mapping and monitoring programs.
Labor supports the sustainable future of Australia’s forests and forest products industry and recognises the value and role of our forests in storing carbon and protecting biodiversity. Labor will work with states and territories to update the 1992 National Forest Policy Statement to ensure it is contemporary and fit for purpose. We will:
· Expand Australia’s plantation estate to meet domestic and international demand for high-value, sustainably sourced wood products, and will develop an industry plan that facilitates regional job growth and vibrant sustainable communities.
· Deliver the management and restoration of native forests, recognising and rewarding carbon and biodiversity values and the need for their active and on-going management.
· Consistent with current government policy, ensure the application of National Environmental Standards to Australia’s native forests.
· Harness the social, environmental, and economic benefits that our forests can provide.
· Recognise the skills, knowledge and competencies of timber workers and their communities, as well as the central role First Nations communities play in restoring country and determining social, economic and environmental benefits flowing from forest management activity.
Chapter 1, after paragraph 115
Labor supports research, development and deployment of methane-reducing livestock technologies. We will continue to work with the industry to identify and overcome technological, economic and social barriers, including consideration of large-scale trials of technologies and of mechanisms to reward the emissions savings, with a view to meaningfully reduce methane emissions from agriculture.
Lake Eyre Basin: Resolution
To protect Kati-Thanda - Lake Eyre, Labor will collaborate with First Nations peoples, industry, State/Territory governments and the community to investigate options for:
- Protecting the Lake Eyre Basin, including World Heritage nomination, subject to Traditional Owners' consent
- Prohibiting development that causes adverse impacts to the Basin's ecological, hydrological and cultural values
- Reversing ecological degradation that has occurred fom industrial development, past poor land management practices, weeds and feral animals
- Improving governance arrangements, including reviewing the existing Inter Governmental Agreement
- Ensuring that the Lake Eyre Basin Strategic Paln and 5-year Implementation Plan have sepcific goals, actions and measurable milestones, including for corporate governance, protection and restoration of ecological values, and sustainable management of all resources.
The National Platform 2023 Ch 3 pt73 - "Labor will protect the ecological health of the rivers, floodplains, wetlands, lakes and channels of the Lake Eyre Basin"
This Resolution spells out how that commitment can be achieved.
Toondah Harbour: Resolution
This conference notes that Australia is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
Toondah Harbour is within the Queensland State Moreton Bay Marine Park and is listed as a Ramsar area – a wetland of international significance.
This Conference therefore calls on the Federal Labor Government to respect the Party Platform position and Australia’s international obligations when deciding on any development application within the Ramsar Area at Toondah Harbour.
An industrial revolution for the 21st century
Chapter 1, after paragraph 33
Labor recognises Australia’s cheap, clean, and abundant renewable energy resources uniquely place us to lead the world in renewable energy generation and grow a competitive green manufacturing sector, including the domestic manufacture of renewable energy generation, storage, and transmission infrastructure. Our immense mineral resources will be in high demand in the coming decades. Labor will seize this opportunity to take strong climate action and put downward pressure on energy costs for households and businesses.
Labor recognises that other governments have made significant investments in energy transition and industrial transformation, and Australia should maximise the benefits of these international investments for Australian industries as well as responding with complementary measures that support the competitiveness of Australian industries. Labor will implement a broad-based response to support and incentivise the growth of local industries and will develop comprehensive industry policy to strategically target investment to support the growth of domestic and export supply chains.
Chapter 3, Statement in detail: An industrial revolution for the 21st century
Labor recognises the energy transition to net zero is the central policy challenge of our generation and the most significant economic opportunity since the Industrial Revolution.
Labor understands that ensuring the energy transition and industrial transformation benefit all Australians will require the active involvement of government to guide economic development. This includes substantial public investment in or underwriting of, as well as active support for State and Territory governments to increase their share of public ownership and control of, certain critical assets to ensure they are managed in the public interest. Governments around the world are making significant investments to this end, including the US through the Inflation Reduction Act, the EU through the EU Green Deal and Canadian policies, which are equivalent to around 2% - 3% of GDP over a number of years.
Decarbonising Australia’s economy offers an unprecedented opportunity to grow sovereign capabilities, reindustrialise the nation, boost development in our regions and take cost of living pressure off households and businesses. It is a task that only a Labor Government can deliver.
Labor recognises Australia’s cheap, clean, and abundant renewable energy resources uniquely place us to lead the world in renewable energy generation and grow a competitive green manufacturing sector. Our immense mineral resources that will be in high demand in the coming decades.
Delivering an energy transition for all Australians is the only way that the social licence for the task will be achieved and maintained. This social licence depends upon the creation of good, union jobs. Labor understands the net zero industrial transformation presents an unprecedented opportunity to create secure, safe, and well-paid skilled work for thousands of Australians.
Labor commits to ensuring that the energy transition and industrial transformation:
- Delivers for all Australians and leaves no one behind;
- Allows households and businesses to benefit from cheaper and cleaner energy;
- Delivers for Australian manufacturing, with local content and good local jobs;
- Supports energy users through public and private investment;
- Creates opportunity for First Nations engagement and advancement; and
- Is underpinned by a good jobs agenda.
1. Reindustrialise Australia through support for manufacturing
In response to unprecedented global supply chain shocks, COVID-19 and the pressing challenges of climate change Labor will deliver policies proportionate to the USA Inflation Reduction Act. This will rebuild our local manufacturing capabilities and spearhead the rollout of renewable energy generation, transmission and electrification (and the supply chains necessary for these pieces of the energy transition) through a national reindustrialisation strategy.
Labor will utilise financial underwriting, tax credits, production subsidies or similar mechanisms to incentivise broad based local manufacturing investment, including in research and development, and workforce training initiatives, to create well-paid union jobs.
Strategic and systemic support for local manufacturing will be guided through the development and implementation of specific and detailed industry policy.
2. Local content
Labor will implement robust “Buy Australia” procurement policies that will require minimum levels of locally manufactured content through requirements for local participation in government tenders and Commonwealth funding arrangements. These policies will include local participation plans and local procurement policies to:
- a) Enhance local procurement requirements to ensure government spending in defence, health, education, and infrastructure are leveraged to develop and support local manufacturing supply chains.
- b) Create well paid, secure, union employment and training opportunities in Australian cities and regions.
- c) Enhance the job opportunities of local workers and in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Labor will establish a Strategic Project designation for infrastructure and other large procurement projects valued over $100m. The Strategic Project designation will require the Commonwealth to use procurement levers to grow and diversify local manufacturing industries. Companies wishing to tender for a Strategic Project will be required to complete a Strategic Project Participation Plan that will set out specific industry development outcomes that will be met by through the procurement of goods and services for the Strategic Project.
Labor will support the strategic use of local content for renewable energy infrastructure including wind towers, solar panels and batteries to energy efficient household appliances and heating and air conditioning manufacturing, including by considering the proposed use of local manufacturing supply chains by project proponents through policies such as Rewiring the Nation, offshore wind licences, and the Capacity Investment Scheme.
3. Electrification of the Nation
Labor acknowledges that rising electricity and gas prices are producing significant cost-of-living pressures on Australian families. Labor is committed to supporting Australian households to reduce both their energy bills and household emissions footprints.
Labor will facilitate the expansion of renewable generation, transmission, and storage infrastructure needed to deliver 82% renewables by 2030 and bring household energy costs down with abundant, cheap, clean renewable electricity. Labor acknowledges the need for significant regulatory and other reform to unlock the transmission capacity needed to support a grid built on renewables while ensuring local communities, businesses and workers are consulted on projects and share the benefits of new investment.
Labor recognises the importance of transitioning Australian households to cost-saving and emissions-reducing electric goods such as rooftop solar and battery systems, heat pumps, induction cooking, and electric vehicles. Labor will support this transition, including through strengthening supply chains and by supporting low-income households and social housing residents to access cost-prohibitive efficiency upgrades.
Labor will ensure that the delivery of energy efficiency upgrades and electrified appliances into Australian households and businesses meets high standards for safety and quality assurance, and is carried out by qualified, licensed workers and registered apprentices. Labour will support the appliance manufacturing sub-sector so it adapts with technological change and grows as part of an expanded Australian manufacturing industry.
4. Public ownership and common user facilities
Labor recognises public ownership and control over certain critical assets is the best way to ensure they are managed in the public interest.
Labor supports, and where appropriate will actively facilitate expanded public investment, underwriting, or public ownership of:
- a) Public utilities
- b) Energy generation, transmission, and storage
- c) Common user facility manufacturing hubs
- d) TAFE and industry-led vocational education
- e) Certain important stages of battery and critical mineral supply chains
Labor will advance the public’s interest, and where appropriate, ownership, control of these pillars of the industrial transformation through means including, but not limited to:
- a) Direct investment in new publicly owned assets
- b) Conditional indirect investment in private assets to deliver outcomes in the public interest
- c) Support for State governments to expand public ownership.
- d) Enabling equity investments with Commonwealth finance vehicles like the NRF, CEFC, andFuture Fund
- e) Nationalisation or renationalisation of existing assets and entities
5. Union jobs agenda
Labor recognises the net zero industrial transformation presents an unprecedented opportunity to create secure, safe, and well-paid skilled work for thousands of Australians, including workers in the fossil-fuel reliant communities who have underpinned our economic development for generations.
Labor will maximise the creation of good, secure jobs and training opportunities for Australian workers. New industries like renewable energy and green manufacturing will be strategically deployed to smooth the jobs transition in Australia’s traditional energy regions and offer clear and reliable pathways into new jobs for workers displaced by the energy transition.
Labor recognises the importance of skilled trade professions in delivering a timely energy transition, a revitalised manufacturing industry, and opportunities for economic mobility in disadvantaged communities. Labor will support the revitalisation of Australian vocational education and training, to ensure the opportunity to access highly skilled trade careers in new industries is available to all Australians.
6. Circular economy
Labor recognises the importance of reducing raw material inputs in manufacturing. Labor will develop a circular economy framework, including for manufacturing to keep products, equipment, and infrastructure in use for the longest possible time. This will include reuse, repair, remanufacturing, and recycling.
Labor recognises that development of a full-cycle manufacturing industry of this type will mean more secure, skilled jobs for Australian workers as part of a future-facing national battery strategy.
7. Finance including NRF value and board.
Labor acknowledges the need for long-term, patient capital to finance the economic transformation.
- a) ensure the regulatory framework for the Future Fund and for Australian superannuation funds enables investment in low- and zero-carbon activities
- b) ensure the National Reconstruction Fund continues to grow local manufacturing and value- adding, including in existing industries and sectors seeking to transition to low- or zero-carbon activities
- c) establish broad-based incentives to support local manufacturing including research and development, such as public investment or public ownership of important parts of the supply chain and manufacturing process, including energy generation
- d) support government investment in common user facilities
Labor supports the ongoing commitment to a 15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) to assist in value adding to our existing industries. Labor is committed to growing our local manufacturing sector through the provision of low-interest finance and equity.
Carbon, Capture, Use and Storage
Domestic Gas Security Mechanism (ADGSM), and reforms around gas supply, pipelines and storage. This will deliver a better functioning domestic gas market, lower domestic gas prices, and support sufficient gas supply.
30. Labor recognises that gas and methane are powerful greenhouse gases and the gas industry must contribute its share of emissions reductions to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The federal Labor government will ensure the gas industry plays its role in achieving net zero emissions, including through the Safeguard Mechanism. Labor will also support households and businesses that choose to switch to other energy sources, such as renewable electricity and green hydrogen.
31. Labor recognises the role gas power generation plays in firming electricity grids, including the National Electricity Market (NEM). As renewables play a larger role over time, to become 82 per cent of generation by 2030, Labor will have regard to the advice of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in continuing to ensure reliability and affordability as Australia’s electricity supply transitions to net zero emissions.
32. Labor recognises the role of international events in driving energy price volatility, and that the best way to reduce energy costs in the long term is to continue the transformation of our energy system to a renewables-based system. To support the achievement of a renewables-based system and ensure access to affordable energy to support Australian households and industry, working with industry, workers and states, Labor will continue to deliver policies such as Rewiring the Nation and the Capacity Investment Scheme.
33. Labor recognises that electrification and fuel switching are critical to meeting our emissions reduction targets, and present significant opportunities to reduce energy costs and improve household and business outcomes, including health outcomes