Bill turns lights out on coal with ETS announcement today

AN EMISSIONS Trading Scheme is expected to be one of the key Labor policies announced by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at the ALP national conference today.

In an extract of Mr Shorten's speech, provided to The Morning Bulletin last night, Mr Shorten called for action on climate change with a transformation of the nation's electricity system and "a new industrial landscape" for renewable energy.

Mr Shorten said he planned to work with businesses and unions to "look after workers affected by modernisation, to re-train and re-skill for new opportunities in new industries, as Australians find new ways to live".

He said climate change was "inescapable fact", describing it as an economic and environmental cancer which demanded early intervention.

Labor would set a target of generating 50% of Australia's electricity by 2030. Mr Shorten said an ETS was not a tax.

The speech was released to The Morning Bulletin following a statement from Capricornia MP Michelle Landry which said Mr Shorten was "preparing to raise the 'sword' to kill off future jobs and investment prospects for Queensland's biggest coal belt".

Ms Landry said an ETS or carbon tax would see job cuts in the coal and aluminium sectors, higher electricity prices and small business closures.

"I thought Labor was once the party of workers but now they are happy to sacrifice regional jobs to chase latte-sipping 'green' votes in the inner city," she said.

"We have already hit hard times with a current mining slump coupled with a drought. Labor now put at risk billions of dollars worth of projects in the pipeline here. And they risk tarnishing our reputation to attract further resource investors from overseas."


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