Miles Labor Government locks in 100,000 jobs for the future

Published Thursday, 18 April, 2024 at 02:43 PM


The Honourable Steven Miles

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

  • Miles Labor Government has passed landmark laws locking in 80% renewable energy generation by 2035, supporting the creation of over 100,000 new jobs.
  • Powerful emissions reductions targets have also been entrenched in law – 75% by 2035.
  • World-first guaranteed financial support, training, jobs as part of Job Security Guarantee
  • The bills also entrench public ownership of energy assets to ensure Queensland’s assets are owned by Queenslanders for Queenslanders.

In a historic day in the Queensland Parliament, two landmark pieces of legislation to deliver direct action on climate change have been passed.

The Miles Labor Government has entrenched the transformation of Queensland’s energy grid into law, which will create more than 100,000 new jobs in manufacturing, renewable energy generation, power transmission and industries of the future.

Powered by the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, three renewable energy targets of 50% renewable energy by 2030, 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035 have been locked in.

The Government has also acted to lock in public ownership of energy assets and a world-first Job Security Guarantee and Fund.

The fund ensures energy workers at existing publicly owned power stations and associated coal mines have access to new jobs and training or financial assistance during the transition.

The move is complemented by strong action on emissions reductions – with laws passed today to legislate emissions reduction targets of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, 75% below by 2035 and net zero by 2050.

In doing so, the Government has secured Queensland’s future with a clean economy, and paved Australia’s path towards the Paris Agreement.

The passing of the Clean Economy Jobs Act 2024 and the Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Act 2024 has secured Queensland’s spot at the centre of a global energy transformation.

Already, investors and industry from around the world are choosing Queensland to establish new industries, build world first technologies and create good local jobs.

The industry now has certainty that a Queensland Labor Government has the vision, the leadership and the drive to power a clean economy future.

In real terms, that means thousands more high paying jobs in Queensland, particularly in the regions. 

Quotes attributable to Premier Steven Miles:

“Government has an obligation to secure the economic, social and environmental prosperity of this state. That’s an obligation I take seriously.

“Through our landmark Energy and Jobs Plan, we set a vision for securing a clean economy future and the 100,000 new jobs that will be created.

“Today, that plan becomes law.

“Our vision for Queenslanders is to produce cheap, clean, reliable, renewable energy for them, their families and their businesses. Now, we get on with the job of delivering.

“We will build the renewable energy generation and transmission assets needed to power big industries in Gladstone, Mackay, Townsville and Mt Isa.

“In turn, we create clean economy jobs for generations to come – building our state and national energy independence. 

“Today, we also lock in a strong emissions reduction target of 75% by 2035, putting the state on par with the most ambitious targets in the state.

“This target will provide certainty industry and deliver a world-leading response to climate change, while protecting Queensland’s pristine natural assets from further impact.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Cameron Dick:

“This is a great day for affordable, reliable, renewable energy in Queensland.”

“But Queensland’s renewable energy transition, and the industries and jobs it supports are under threat from David Crisafulli and the LNP.

“Yesterday, the LNP made it clear it wants to privatise all new renewable energy generation in Queensland.

“If the LNP does not support pumped hydro for deep storage, it means they are backing nuclear reactors up and down the Queensland coast.”

Quotes attributable to Minister Mick de Brenni:

“This is a historic day for Queensland.

“Today signals to the world that Queensland is serious about taking real action on climate change, while ensuring economic certainty and prosperity for communities across the state.

“Australia cannot meet its international climate obligations without the support of Queensland. By securing a new target of a 75% reduction in emissions by 2035, we’ve demonstrated our commitment to decarbonisation, for the benefit of Queenslanders, and our planet.

“The passing of these laws will protect existing jobs and represents a further big step towards the 100,000 new jobs, new industries, and export opportunities that the clean economy transition will deliver.

“People elect governments to do the heavy lifting when it comes to climate action, and today’s announcement gives Queenslanders confidence and hope that the Sunshine State is on the right track.

“For a generation, Queenslanders have talked about climate change, but for many, the last decade has proven the very real impacts, which is why what the Premier is leading this state to achieve is so important.”

“These new laws are about locking in the Miles Government’s commitment to a publicly owned energy system - one that protects tens of thousands of jobs in existing industries.

“Our $150 million Job Security Guarantee is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Now that it’s locked in legislation, Queenslanders working in a publicly-owned power station or relevant coal mine can have peace of mind that they will have opportunities for training and financial security as we transition.

“Today, Queensland powers ahead towards cleaner, cheaper renewable energy. We know renewables are the cheapest form of power, and now we’ve locked in our measured targets in law.

“This legislation will deliver lasting benefits to Queenslanders for generations to come. It will protect our enviable environment and lifestyle and unlock new industries and jobs as we move towards net zero.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Renewable Energy Council CEO, Katie-Anne Mulder:

Queensland’s renewable energy targets now enshrined in law, provide certainty to industry and communities on the State’s plan to shift our reliance from thermal coal to renewable energy.

“What comes with the targets is a continued investment pipeline into renewable energy projects in Queensland, an investment towards a modern energy system that brings with it regional economic development and prosperity.

“The partnership we have seen across the Parliament to support the targets now needs to be matched by a partnership between all stakeholders across the State to achieve these targets for all Queenslanders.”

Quotes attributable to WWF-Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman:

“This ambitious emissions reduction target and renewables plan is globally significant.

“Under Premier Steven Miles’ leadership, Queensland, historically a fossil fuel state, is seizing the opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower with these two bills.

Quotes attributable to Electrical Trades Union State Secretary, Peter Ong:

“The Electrical Trades Union congratulates the Miles Government on the introduction of ground breaking legislation with the Energy and Jobs bill. 

“In my 25 years in the Trade Union movement working with Governments of both persuasions, this is one of the most important pieces of legislation I have seen introduced by any government.

“The public ownership piece guarantees Queenslanders will maintain control of their publicly owned energy assets as we transition into a renewable future, maximizing our ability to put downward pressure on electricity prices, and it allows Government to give affected workers in our power stations a just transition.

“The Energy workers jobs guarantee will see no energy worker displaced as we transition to a renewable future.”

Quotes Attributable to Australian Conservation Foundation Program Manager – Climate and Energy, Gavan McFadzean:

“Given Queensland’s summer of extreme weather, this is essential legislation. The Queensland government has set strong targets backed by a clear plan to get there, starting with decarbonizing the energy system.  

“With some of the best solar and wind resources anywhere in the world, this legislation sets Queensland on a trajectory to transition to clean energy, while driving down climate pollution to help protect the state from more severe extreme weather events.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Conservation Council Director, Dave Copeman:

"Communities across Queensland are already experiencing the impacts of climate change with more extreme floods, fires and other weather events causing havoc more frequently and leaving lasting damage.

"During this period of economic change, legislated emission reduction and renewable energy targets provide certainty for industry and communities, and signal that Queensland is welcoming clean investment.

"Climate change is one of the biggest threats to Queensland's unique landscapes and wildlife. Today is a historic day for Queensland and a big step towards safeguarding the places and lifestyle we love."

Quotes attributable to Smart Energy Council Acting Chief Executive, Wayne Smith:

“Queensland leads Australia in climate action - that’s the truth and that’s now the law.

“75% emissions reductions by 2035 will create employment and business opportunities right across the State by building new industries and attracting new investment in low carbon projects.

“It positions Queensland to be a Renewables and Critical Minerals Superpower, laying strong foundations for Queensland’s economic future.”

Quotes attributable to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union Queensland and Northern Territory Branch State Secretary, Rohan Webb:

"The AMWU stands firmly with the Queensland government's decision to legislate the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan.

“This visionary plan is not just a commitment to renewable energy - it is a blueprint for job security and economic prosperity for our workers.

“This is a game-changer for the manufacturing sector. By investing in renewable energy projects and infrastructure, we are not only transitioning to a more sustainable future but also guaranteeing thousands of high-paying, high-quality jobs. This ensures that our members have a pivotal role in the 'big build,' harnessing their skills in metal trades, electrical works, and across the manufacturing spectrum.

“This plan doesn’t just secure jobs for today but paves the way for generations to come. It is a testament to a government that listens, values, and invests in its workforce.”

Quotes attributed to The Services Union Secretary, Neil Henderson:

“The Services Union commends the Miles Government on its visionary approach to dealing with the complexities of climate change and the transformation of the energy industry. 

“The legislation under consideration in the Qld Parliament today is the product of considerable consultation with all stakeholders but especially the energy industry workforce.

“The Miles government through Minister de Brenni’s efforts has delivered a plan and the means to implement it in a way that leads Australia and is world class.

“Importantly the Miles Government has maintained public ownership of our energy assets now and into the future. It has also laid the groundwork to ensure the continuation of secure and well paid jobs in the industry.”

Quotes attributable Professionals Australia Lead Organiser, Thomas Whibley:

“This leadership on climate and energy policy by the Miles Government provides our members with the certainty they need to build a plan for the future.’

“The legislated emissions reduction targets working in hand with the Jobs Security Guarantee provides a considered approach around the timeline for retraining and redeployment into new renewables jobs.’

“Professionals Australia has long campaigned for a robust transition plan, and today is a huge step forward for our members, their families, and communities.

Further information:

Through the Clean Economy Jobs Act 2024, the Miles Government has taken the historic step to legislate emissions reduction targets of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, 75% below by 2035 and net zero by 2050.

In doing so, the Government has secured Queensland’s future with a clean economy, and paved Australia’s path towards the Paris Agreement.

In addition, the legislation establishes a framework for accountability and action by including an expert panel who will provide advice to government on how Queensland can reduce emissions and transition to a clean economy future.

The legislation will ensure the development and publication of sector plans by the end of 2025, and annual reporting to Parliament of Queensland’s progress.

The Energy (Renewable Transformation and Jobs) Act 2024 (the Energy Act) enshrines into law key commitments from the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, including the three renewable energy targets of 50% renewable energy by 2030, 70% by 2032 and 80% by 2035.

It also legislates a world-first Job Security Guarantee and Fund, ensuring affected energy workers at existing publicly owned power stations and associated coal mines access to new jobs and training or financial assistance during the transition.

Additionally, the Energy Act will ensure Queensland’s energy assets stay in Queenslanders hands.

It enshrines public ownership of all transmission, distribution and deep storage assets, and majority (54%) of generation assets.

The legislation establishes the infrastructure frameworks needed to build the Queensland SuperGrid, the transmission infrastructure that will unlock Queensland’s renewable energy to power industry, businesses and households across the state.

It also formally establishes the Queensland Energy System Advisory Board, the Energy Industry Council and the Queensland Renewable Energy Jobs Advocate to ensure a smooth, coordinated transformation that delivers cleaner, cheaper and more secure power.

Queensland’s 2035 Clean Economy Pathway:75% by 2035 (