LGNSW president Linda Scott

A local government-led push for more investment in regional jobs could pay off for the planet as well.

Last week the Local Government NSW (LGNSW) launched its Locally Led Jobs Plan to encourage more state and federal government investment in employment and economic recovery, with a breakfast event attended by NSW minister for energy and environment Matt Kean.

LGNSW president Linda Scott told The Fifth Estate that smaller levels had the strongest track record of creating jobs to support local communities, and that a focus on sustainability would help support this.

“One of our policies at LGNSW is to have a renewable energy target of 40 per cent by 2025 to support investment and market confidence in renewable energy projects,” Scott said.

To encourage better waste management, Scott advocates for the $800 million collected each year through the NSW Waste levy to be directed into council-led recycling initiatives.

“There is an estimated 22,000 people currently directly employed in recycling, with another 18,500 indirect jobs supported by the recycling sector,” Scott said.

“If councils can grow their recycling, in partnership with the state and federal government, we can grow more jobs and have better sustainability outcomes for our state.”

Scott also has her eye on a new job of her own, having thrown her hat in the ring to become Lord Mayor of Sydney. She is up against current Lord Mayor Clover Moore and former federal MP Kerryn Phelps.

It she is successful, Scott will have big shoes to fill when it comes to making Sydney more sustainable.

“A key part of why I’m running is to really up the work that we’re doing because I see more opportunity to do better,” Scott said.

“There’s so many opportunities to have the win of investing in new jobs, creating a more sustainable outcome and reducing emissions at the same time.”

Job movements

The Property Council of Australia has waved goodbye to two top players, with chief operating officer Kathy Mac Dermott and Queensland executive director Chris Mountford stepping down.

Mac Dermott left to pursue non-executive director board roles and build her own consulting practice, while Mr Mountford will take up the role of CEO of Independent Schools Queensland. Both had held their positions since 2014.

At the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), Jason Robertson was appointed to the newly created role of director sustainability and impact and will also serve as the inaugural chair of the ARA’s Sustainability Advisory Committee.

For the past 12 years, Robertson has worked at David Jones, the last three of which he was head of social responsibility and sustainability.

He will lead the development of a sector wide Sustainability and Social Impact Strategy for the ARA, helping retailers become more sustainable, guiding government and policy responses and exploring joint venture opportunities with industry.

Beyond Zero Emissions has appointed Tom Quinn as its head of policy and research after more than six years as a non executive director, during which time he delivered complex technical projects and led work on major policy issues.

In exciting news for green tech startups, helping oversee a new $250 million investment fund for tech investment firm Main Sequence, will be company partner, Martin Duursma.

Duursma will lead investment in the areas of decarbonisation and addressing climate change, which will be a main focus of the fund.

“Our ingenuity and deep science background as a nation will be pivotal in building a clean hydrogen industry, adapting heavy industry, decarbonising our energy grids, and developing new ways to capture and sequester carbon,” Duursma said.

“We’re determined to help uncover the scientific discoveries, turn them into real, tangible technologies and accelerate their potential so we can reverse our climate impact and avoid a climate catastrophe.”

In the corporate world, real estate industry veteran John Forrest has been appointed as global board advisor at Unispace, helping the company expand further in the international market.

Following a 27-year career with global real estate services firm JLL, Forrest will tackle the challenges of a changing property climate as the world emerges from COVID-19.

Our pick of the jobs

In the sustainable jobs field, recycling and paper manufacturer Visy is looking for a circular economy and sustainability manager, offering a good opportunity to enter the hotter-than-ever waste management sector.

For those looking to leave a lasting impact, Rail Projects Victoria is looking for two new sustainability advisors to assist with the creation of a Melbourne Airport Rail and other projects.

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