Anthony Anderson, Secretary of Geelong Trades Hall Council, told a Green Recovery not Gas Recovery rally on November 28 that the campaign for renewables and jobs was urgent because “no one is going to be turning off fossil fuel energy until new renewable sources are brought online”.
Sarah Hathway from Extinction Rebellion Geelong and Tim Harte from the Deakin Environmental Justice Club also addressed the protest, which included a performance from the Red Rebel Brigade, before marching to Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson’s office and federal Labor MP and Deputy Leader Richard Marles’ office to make the point that both major parties need to do much more to stop dangerous climate change.
“The reality is that we must campaign to bring this about sooner rather than later if we are going to avert climate change,” Anderson told the rally.
“Jobs are the key to our future and to the economic recovery. We need more apprenticeships for our young people, more traineeships and more industries being supported and encouraged to transition to renewables.
“We can’t sit back and pretend that this will happen by itself or fast enough: we have to make it happen.”
On November 17, Geelong Trades Hall Council endorsed a resolution committing the council to take the lead on a green jobs campaign in the new year.
The motion commits the council to convene “an Environmental Jobs Alliance inviting all unions, organisations and individuals who are interested in developing: 1. An activist group to campaign for an environmentally sustainable future and a shift to renewable energies and 2. To investigate sustainable green jobs and related projects for this region.”
Anderson told Green Left he’d like to see “everyone in Geelong getting together and organising campaigns for green jobs/sustainable jobs. Only by combining all our resources can we have the maximum impact on governments and big businesses to get the best outcomes for long-term sustainable jobs in both white-collar and blue-collar employment for the Geelong region.”