Calls for federal government to stem job losses
Renewable energy advocates are calling on the federal government to protect jobs with data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing employment in the sector has fallen another 3 percent.
The ABS Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, Australia 2014-15 publication shows there were 14,020 full-time jobs in the sector in 2014-15, down from 14,490 the previous financial year and 19,120 recorded in 2011-12.
Australia Solar Council CEO John Grimes said the federal government should share in the blame of the losses which came in the wake of a review and revision down of the country’s renewable energy target.
“Unfortunately, these job losses come as no surprise to those who still work in the renewable energy sector,” Mr Grimes said.
“Under this federal government we have witnessed repeated attacks on the solar industry, including cuts to the renewable energy target and attempts to abolish the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. This dramatically eroded investor confidence and has directly led to job losses.”
According to the ABS report, declines in renewable energy employment was most marked in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.
Australian Wind Alliance national coordinator Andrew Bray said the majority of jobs in wind energy were located in regional and rural Australia.
“Put simply: any job and investment losses in the wind sector hurts regional Australia. It’s not good enough for the federal government to sit idly by and try to ignore the problem. We expect the government to use every tool at its disposal to keep regional centres and rural towns thriving.”
The ABS report shows:
- Solar energy (including roof-top solar PV, solar hot water and large scale solar PV) is the most significant source of jobs with 8310 full-time roles in 2014-15.
- Between 2011-12 and 2014-15 renewable energy jobs fell 36% in Queensland (from 5580 to 3570), down 60% in South Australia (from 2360 to 940); and down 51% in West Australia (from 2230 to 1100).
- In the same period, jobs declined by 25% in Victoria (from 3510 to 2630), remained steady in Tasmania and increased in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.
For interviews with John or Andrew, or to speak to those who work in the renewable energy sector please contact Dinah on 0425 791 394 or Zoe on 0400 144 794.