Renewable Energy Sector Board to boost local manufacturing and jobs

Local jobs and manufacturing opportunities in the renewable energy industry are set to boom
following the launch of the State’s first Renewable Energy Sector Board , unveiled by the NSW
Government today.

Workers during set up at Moree Solar Farm. Moree, NSW.

Energy Minister Matt Kean said the Renewable Energy Sector Board will play a key role in
delivering on the NSW Government’s commitment to boost opportunities for local jobs and
industry – particularly in the regions.

“We have bought all the key players to the table to make sure we don’t miss any opportunities
to support local jobs and industry as we modernise the State’s energy infrastructure over the
coming decades,” Mr Kean said.

“My brief to the Board is do not leave any stone unturned. This is a once in a generation
opportunity to secure the economic and employment benefits under our Electricity
Infrastructure Roadmap for our local industries, workers and consumers.”

The Board will look at everything from material sourcing and supply to contracting
arrangements, and explore ways to give NSW manufacturers a competitive advantage in
emerging ‘green’ supply industries. It will be joint chaired by Daniel Walton from the Australian
Workers’ Union and Craig Memery from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, and brings
together 12 representatives from across the sector.

Joint Chairperson Daniel Walton, from the Australian Workers’ Union said we need to deliver
policies that both create new jobs and support existing workers.

“These new policies should drive genuine accountability and replace the ‘tick and flick’ culture
of procurement which has favoured overseas suppliers in recent decades,” Mr Walton said.

“This Board will play a critical role in maximising the use of locally produced and supplied
goods. This will both sustain and boost jobs for local workers and foster opportunities for
apprentices and trainees in the renewable energy industry.”

Joint Chairperson Craig Memery, from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, said we need to
make sure the sector is competitive to deliver choice for consumers and drive down electricity
prices.

“We want to make sure our local workers and industries reap the economic benefits of the
transition to the cheap, reliable and renewable electricity, and we’ll be looking at ways to do
this in the best interests of NSW electricity customers,” Mr Memery said.

The Board, which will provide its first report to the Minister by the end of March 2021 and will
meet at least once every six months, was a key component of the NSW Government’s
landmark energy legislation that passed through the NSW Parliament in November 2020.

NSW Renewable Energy Sector Board members

Chairpersons

  • Daniel Walton, National Secretary, Australian Workers’ Union
  • Craig Memery, Policy Team Leader, Energy + Water Consumers’ Advocacy Program, PIAC

Members

  • Mark Cain, Chief Executive, Australian Steel Institute
  • John Coyle, Director, Varley Group
  • Anna Freeman, Policy Director – Energy Generation, Clean Energy Council
  • Lynne Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Consumers Australia
  • Grahame Kelly, General Secretary, CFMEU (Mining and Energy Division)
  • James Hay, Chief Executive, Energy Corporation of NSW
  • Paul Italiano, Chief Executive Officer, TransGrid
  • Justin Page, Secretary NSW & ACT, Electrical Trades Union
  • Matthew Robertson, National Strategy & Market Development Manager, BlueScope Steel Australia
  • Stacey Sleeman, Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary, Tomago Aluminium
  • Rod Stowe, former NSW Fair Trading Commissioner
  • Cory Wright, State Secretary, Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union

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