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Photo by Daniel Pelaez Duque on Unsplash

It’s all about jobs, with the Council of Australian Governments abolished to make way for a governing body composed of federal, state and territory leaders focused on post-Covid job creation.

Whether or not these will be meaningful jobs that also lead to environmental and social outcomes is unknown, but there certainly are jobs fitting this description waiting in the wings.

According to climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions, there’s upwards of 140,000 jobs that could be created in renewables.

“The Million Jobs Plan” released last week is designed to create employment, modernise infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of Australia becoming a “renewable energy superpower in the decades to come”.

The plan supports widespread renewable energy construction, manufacture and transmission infrastructure upgrades, as well as underwriting renewable energy industrial zones at guaranteed prices to secure Australia as a top destination for energy-intensive clean industries such as green hydrogen and zero emissions metals.

Firefighting is already top of mind

It’s only the second day of winter but after the bushfire season we just had, boosting firefighting capacity is still top of mind.

The Public Service Association is calling on the NSW government to hire 1000 permanent firefighting staff to begin preparing NSW for future bushfire risks, and stop relying on volunteers. The union is also calling on the Commonwealth to mandate a minimum level of firefighting-skilled staff.

Another idea showing promise is re-invigorate the local manufacturing industry. According to the Australian Workers’ Union, a sure way Tof doing this would be building all new infrastructure with Australian-made products.

The union says that this would create 53,000 new jobs and pump $3.5 billion into the economy.

Tradies are Go

There’s already signs that the tradie sector will play a key role in post-Covid recovery, with find-a-tradie website reporting a 27.5 per cent increase in jobs posted on the website compared to April.

According to co-founder of the website, Jeremy Levitt, when “coupled with Scott Morrison’s proposed $4 billion tradie rescue package, we are hope that demand for Australia’s tradies inspires a V-shaped recovery.”

For some reason tradies working on flooring are in top demand, followed by pavers, asbestos removalists, fencers, roofers and house cleaners.

Job movements

Former chief of staff to the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Ian Porter, is now a senior advisor for the Bushfire inquiries Taskforce.

Porter has also been CEO of Renew and chair of Greenfleet, among other roles.

The taskforce sits within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Australian construction company Watpac has signalled that it’s stepping up with to take on larger more complex projects as a tier one contractor, hiring Lendlease’s Peter Furlong to lead Watpac’s New South Wales team as general manager.

Jackie McKeon  has just taken on a new role as director, energy services at Renewable Energy Hub after her last role as co-founder and program director of Business Renewables Centre Australia, a joint venture between Climate-KIC Australia, WWF Australia and the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS. See interview here.

Our pick of the jobs

The Investor Group on Climate Change is looking for an analyst to coordinate engagement research and analysis in alignment with the goals of the Climate Action 100+ initiative, a five-year initiative led by investors to engage with the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to improve their performance in addressing climate change.

Work for Amber Electric is a new kind of electricity company that empowers customers with direct access to wholesale electricity prices and allows them to shift their energy use to times when cheap wind and solar energy are generating. The Melbourne-based company is looking for a customer operations specialist to focus primarily on solving customer problems.

There’s a public sector role going in the Northern Territory at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The department is seeking an executive director for environmental regulation.

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