Published SMH - Saturday 3/10/09
Gillard looks to US for ‘green’ jobs
Updated: 16:49, Saturday October 3, 2009
So the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is flying to the United States on a mission to see how it is creating more ‘‘green’’ jobs. We could have saved her the trouble – and the considerable expense.
What could possibly be cleaner or greener than massive rural employment in the business of saving water? What could possibly be cleaner or greener than to employ people in capping and piping bores in the Great Artesian Basin?
The Basin underlies 22 per cent of Australia, and the waste from free-flowing bores is causing the finite waters of the basin to be depleted at an enormous rate. Water equal to the volume of Sydney Harbour is being wasted each year.
The process of reconditioning, capping and piping all free-flowing Great Artesian Basin bores is severely underfunded, and no new works can begin for another two years.
Yet here is our Deputy Prime Minister flying to the US searching for clean, green jobs while we have a desperate need for recognition of the urgency for this water to be saved.
As everyone knows, rural unemployment is at an all-time high. Could anything be better than teams of people being gainfully employed and learning skills and trades. The skills they will learn while recondititioning, capping and piping bores include mining (drilling rigs), plumbing, concreting, irrigation (pipe laying), etc. They will be handling and using machinery – forklifts and trucks – and will learn mechanical and other skills associated with that. And the bonus end result would be saving the precious and finite waters of the Great Artesian Basin for future generations. There would be a surge of green employment, and the flow-on benefits to rural and regional communities, towns and businesses would be enormous.
The Government said it would spend $94 million to create green training places and jobs. That $94million would cap a lot of bores, save a lot of water and train and employ an awful lot of people.
Neil & Anne Kennedy, Coonamble