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Labor will rebuild TAFE and National Parks


Bryce Wilson post 19 March 2019:

Combat skills shortage with free courses = jobs

$24 million jobs plan for Kosci

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY SUPPORT the following pledge from Pru Car, our Shadow Minister for TAFE and Skills:

Under the Liberal and National Government, our TAFE system has been slowly rotting.

5,700 TAFE teachers and support staff have been sacked. Enrolments have dropped by more than 175,000 places. Course fees have sky-rocketed. Dodgy private training providers have flourished.

Ms Berejiklian and her Government abandoned TAFE a long time ago. They failed to protect NSW from gaping skills shortages in the job market, and chose instead to invest in private training providers that overcharge and under-deliver for students.

Now it’s up to us to step in and rebuild the TAFE system from the ground up.

We will deliver at least 600,000 free TAFE courses in areas with skills shortages — such as childcare, aged care, construction, plumbing, renewable energy and many more.  [SUPPORT FREE TAFE HERE]

This is the ultimate jobs plan — giving students, families and workers access to educational and training opportunities in areas where there is a need for new skilled workers.

Under Labor, students will be able to secure a good quality vocational education upon leaving school, and workers will be able to upskill in order to improve their job security. There will be more opportunities for TAFE teachers to go back to work.

It will improve employment opportunities for everyone, not just today, but into the future.

Rebuild Kosci National Park workforce, protect catchments

Labor plans to invest $24 million to establish highly-trained Kosciuszko works crews to repair the mountain catchments and restore eroding slopes, wetlands and mountain streams.

The works program will create 60 jobs to address damage to water catchments and restore the best possible water delivery from the mountains to the Snowy Scheme and downstream farmers, towns and cities.

Kosciuszko National Park contains the alpine streams and wetlands that supply high-quality water at the origin of the Murray-Darling Basin – but the waterways and surrounding soil and slopes have been heavily damaged by introduced species like horses, pigs, and deer.

The works crews will repair eroding drainage lines, re-establishing soil cover, restore heavily disturbed wetland water tables, and snowgum plantings. They will also work on the restoration of creeks, fens and wetlands, including the Snowy, Murrumbidgee, and Ingeegoodbee rivers.

John Barilaro’s wild horse protection laws will damage Australia’s unique alpine ecosystem and the quality of water delivered to the Murray-Darling Basin, while risking the booming tourism industry. Labor will take a sensible approach to managing wild horses while repairing the damage that has been done.


Labor’s six-point plan for Kosciuszko National Park wild horse population

  1. Ensure that the plan of management of Kosciuszko National Park is the primary management document to guide the operation of the park;
  2. Restore resources to the National Parks and Wildlife Service cut by the Liberal-National Government to protect the park’s pristine environment and threatened species;
  3. Minimise the impacts of pest species (both plants and animals) through adequately funded and effective control programs. This includes wild pigs, dogs, deer and horses;
  4. Conduct a scientific assessment and count of the horse population in consultation with key stakeholders;
  5. Ensure wild horses are acknowledged for their cultural value by retaining a smaller population in the Park where degradation is less critical, and manage the horse population guided by the extensive work that produced the 2016 Draft Wild Horse Management Plan to:
    — increase resources and research capacity for humane population control measures such as fertility control;
    — establish a formal and well-resourced rehoming program for wild horses to rapidly increase the number of horses able to be rehomed outside of the park;
    — ensure that large horse populations do not lead to starvation and the poor animal welfare outcomes of mortality from starvation;
    — ensure that horse populations in identified sensitive landscapes are actively managed to protect the fragile alpine habitat and threatened plant and animal species; and
    – maintain the ban on aerial culling to continue humane animal welfare standards.
  1. Invest $24 million to repair the mountain catchments — establish a highly-trained Kosciuszko works crew dedicated to halting erosion in the mountain catchments and restoring and repairing the current eroding slopes, wetlands and mountain streams. This work will restore the best possible water delivery from the catchments to the Snowy Scheme and for downstream farmers, towns and cities.

Bryce Wilson post 14 March 2019:

Labor: ban single-use plastic bags; boost local recycling jobs

ALSO — support cooperative businesses; $91 million for Monaro roads; boost for schools, paramedics, nurses. 

NSW LABOR WILL phase out single-use plastic and ban single-use plastic bags if elected — an area where NSW under the Coalition has trailed other states. Also in the plan: investing an additional $140 million into local recycling initiatives that will generate local jobs.

NSW is the second highest per capita *
waste producer
in the world.
[Editor says: Good grief!]

(Stock image)
(Stock image)

We know the NSW waste system is in crisis, with a collapsing market for recycled materials — particularly in China. There has been a rapid drop of available landfill sites, and a current state government that has failed to engage with key stakeholders to solve the problems. NSW is the second highest per capita waste producer in the world. Every person in NSW generates two tonnes of waste each year.

Labor will establish a NSW ‘Circular Economy and Job Creation Investment Fund’ to provide an additional $140 million, over four years, to support investment in recycling and resource recovery facilities.

The fund will generate local jobs by supercharging support for local government and the resource recovery and recycling industry, such as investment in recycling facilities, material processing facilities, increasing community-based waste reduction and recycling, and providing seed funding for innovative solutions to dealing with waste.

It will be established by investing unallocated waste levy revenue and ensuring every dollar earned is spent on addressing waste and supporting recycling and environmental programs.

I agree with our Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for the environment, Penny Sharpe, who says: “It is time for NSW to invest in local recycling and resource recovery facilities and to drive our economy to ensure that waste is avoided, reduced and recycled.”

Funding and admin support for cooperatives

Labor is keen to support the cooperative model for business and organisations, continuing a history of support, including across the Monaro. There are approximately 600 member-owned cooperatives in NSW, with some 8,000 employees operating in sectors including childcare, healthcare, financial services, taxis, farming, dairy, and fishing.

Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs Mick Veitch says that by their very nature cooperatives are people-centred and therefore not only benefit members but the wider community as well.

“Co-ops are having a bit of a renaissance in recent years, but more needs to be done from government to assist their establishment and growth.”

Abolishing fees for amateur bee keepers and boosting the biosecurity portfolio with additional funding are also on agenda for the Opposition on Primary Industries along with new support for Landcare and Rivercare.

•  Labor’s Bryce Wilson: Game-changing renewables industry PLUS jobs for NSW

* Barry Buffier, the former Chief Executive and Chair of the NSW Environment Protection Authority, in testimony given to NSW Legislative Council Portfolio Committee inquiry into ‘Energy from waste technology’, (p7), on 24 November 2017.

Mr BUFFIER: We are on about 63 percent recycling rates now — up from 45 percent. We are aiming to get to 75 percent recycling rates by 2021. If we do not get to 75 percent recycling rates we will be drowning in our own waste. The reality is we will be exhausting landfill in Sydney if we do not get to 75 percent. The total volume of waste produced in New South Wales is at about — we are the second highest per capita producers of waste in the world — 17 million tonnes.

Bryce Wilson post 28 February 2019:

Labor to overhaul energy sector see news Feature

NSW LABOR HAS committed $1.4 billion for regional roads, and will invest in what they are calling “Active” transport (cycleways, rail trails and pedestrian links).

Employment – put local jobs first

Labor proposes legislation to ensure the NSW Government prioritises local jobs and local industry when procuring goods, services and infrastructure and proposes a mandate of 50% local content in each NSW Government contract over $50m.

It will dedicate $4b from the proceeds of selling NSW’s stake in the Snowy Hydro Scheme to create a Regional Jobs Fund.

•  Labor’s Bryce Wilson: Game-changing renewables industry PLUS jobs for NSW

Future posts: more detail on education and health policies

Bryce Wilson post 15 February 2019:

Labor: Solar on half million homes; Free TAFE courses

CANDIDATE FOR MONARO Bryce Wilson has announced that if elected Labor will support half a million households to install roof-top solar over the next 10 years, with the expectation this will reduce electricity bills with cheaper, cleaner and greener energy. More policies on climate action are expected in the next weeks.

solar-million-homes-Feb2019Labor’s Solar Homes policy will rebate up to $2,200 for adding solar panels to owner occupied households, where combined household income is under $180,000. On average, households could expect to save up to $600 a year off their electricity bills.

The policy is that panels will only be installed by accredited solar installers, using approved products, to ensure the best possible safety standards. The program will also support workforce development, training and accreditation of electricians.

The program would be phased in, starting in the 2019–2020 financial year, to ensure an orderly rollout.

Said Wilson, “Labor takes climate change seriously, and will support renewable energy across NSW. The Nationals and Liberals have privatised the electricity grid and overseen a massive jump in power bills, our solar homes policy will provide the help that families need.”

•  Labor’s Bryce Wilson: regional schools, health funding top list

Free TAFE courses

apprenticeship skillsEARLIER, NSW LABOR leader Michael Daley announced that a Labor Government will make TAFE free for more than 600,000 certificate level places in skill shortage courses over the next decade, starting with child care, disability care, aged care, construction, plumbing, and electrical trades.

Bryce Wilson said free TAFE courses should be welcomed by employers struggling to meet skill shortages and young people wanting to get into the workforce for the first time, or people looking to change their careers or re-skill, and those out of work but trying to find it in emerging industries.

This reversal on TAFE comes after two terms of Coalition government in which much of TAFE education as previously understood was dismantled or privatised with teachers removed and tuition prices hiked.


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