New official figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown that the renewable energy sector has lost almost 2,500 jobs over the last two years.
According to the new figures released Monday, renewable energy industry jobs stood at 12,590 in 2013-14, up from the employment level of 8,750 recorded in 2009-10. However, importantly, the figures for 2013-14 are down 15%, or 2,300, from the peak of 14,890 recorded in 2011-12.
As the Australian Bureau of Statistics immediately notes, “employment in renewable energy activities is influenced by policies put in place by federal, state/territory and local governments,” which clearly places the blame for the decrease in renewable energy industry jobs at the feet of Australia’s governments.
As was covered heavily last week, the Australian Government has kept the country’s Renewable Energy Target surrounded in uncertainty ever since they decided to begin investigating its usefulness back in the first half of 2014. Numerous reports filtered through the media last year which showed that investment in the country’s renewable energy industry had fallen by 70% since the “investigation” had begun, and over a year later, those numbers haven’t improved at all, with each month a bevy of international renewable energy companies announcing they are pulling out of Australia.
Speaking to Sky News Australia on Sunday, the Labor Party’s Opposition spokesman for the environment Mark Butler made it clear that the blame for the current situation lies not with his own party’s inability to compromise, but rather the Liberal Party’s inability to see the facts of the matter. In particular, Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
“It just needs Tony Abbott to swallow his pride and admit he got it wrong last year when he attacked this industry and find a way to restore some confidence back,” Mr Butler said on Sunday.
With investment dollars and industry jobs clearly affected, the Prime Minister’s desire to support fossil fuels over renewable energy is clear, and as a result hundreds of Australians and dozens of companies are suffering.