Labor leader Bill Shorten is promising to put $75 million towards building Australia’s renewable energy sector, which he says will create 70,000 jobs.
Mr Shorten says the jobs will be created through his target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.
“Renewable energy means more jobs, more investment, cheaper energy and lower pollution,” he said on Thursday.
Labor will put $45 million towards apprentice incentives, where employers could get up to $8000 for taking on an apprentice.
The apprentices themselves would get $2000 to help with education costs.
“These apprentice incentives will be available for apprentices working on renewable energy projects and for clean energy businesses,” Mr Shorten said.
“This includes wind and solar, battery manufacture and installation, pumped hydro and transmission.”
If Labor wins at the May 18 election, a Shorten government would also invest $20 million towards upgrading TAFE facilities so equipment such as batteries and solar panels are industry standard.
A further $10 million would go in a clean energy training fund so workers can be trained and upskilled for renewable industries.
Mr Shorten has spent the past few days spruiking his climate policies across the country, announcing renewable energy zones in Western Australia and South Australia if he wins government.
But he remains under pressure to outline the cost of his 45 per cent emissions reduction plan, which he says is impossible to put a price on as businesses will decide how to reduce their pollution.
Despite the unknown cost the business sector has been quiet in response to Labor’s plan, as they have been calling for policy certainty for years.
Mr Shorten says paying for climate action is an investment, not a cost, and is banking on voters being more concerned about climate inaction than the price attached to it.
Labor’s other major policies – such as increased subsidies for childcare and a pay top up for early educators – will be funded by closing tax loopholes around franking credits and negative gearing.
But the Labor leader denies he is redistributing wealth.
“What we want to do is have real change, because frankly, more of the same under this government isn’t good enough for Australians,” he told ABC’s 730 program on Wednesday.