All of us deserve access to meaningful, secure work.
COVID-19 has seen tens of thousands of people become unemployed overnight. It will take years for businesses to re-hire the staff they’ve let go.
Now is the time to invest in the green economy and build a stronger, 21st-century city and workforce. We will provide a Green Jobs package to restart our economy and build infrastructure that will benefit our community for generations.
|▲||Improve housing and local infrastructure, by building and upgrading our footpaths, bike paths, playgrounds and greening our neighbourhoods|
|▲||Real climate action, including green manufacturing and decarbonising our economy|
|▲||Expand education and training, by providing world-leading courses in solar and wind and battery technology construction and maintenance, conservation and ecosystem management|
|▲||Expand the ACT’s public services and community sector, to provide better services and programs|
|▲||Improve workers' rights and conditions|
|▲||Properly value and invest in artists|
|▲||Help Canberrans to start co-operatives|
Creating Local Jobs for our Community
All of us deserve access to meaningful, secure work.
That means work that offers fair conditions and secure contracts across all industries, work that is flexible and suits the needs of families, and challenges structural inequalities to ensure equal opportunities and pay for women.
Why is now the time to invest in job creation?
COVID-19 has seen at least 5000 Canberrans lose their jobs, with many more losing hours, and it will take years for businesses to re-hire the staff they’ve let go.
Meanwhile, the looming climate crisis, housing crisis, and global pandemic and resulting economic outlook paint a dire picture of our future.
The effects of this quadruple crisis are being exacerbated by the casualisation and outsourcing of our workforces, meaning that wages, conditions and hours are being squeezed, whilst people at the top reap growing benefits.
That means building infrastructure that will benefit our community for generations, investing in the public, community and private sectors, and upholding the rights and dignity of the unemployed.
That’s why the ACT Greens will:
- Invest in over 4500 additional jobs for Canberrans
- Scope options for a Territory owned jobs provider, to support all Canberrans to access meaningful, secure work
- Implement whole of government policy that government services will not be contracted out where they could be done by public servants, including:
- Stipulating that the default position is that public functions are delivered by Government employees
- Fixed-term temporary contracts to have a clearer, mandated pathway to permanent employment
- More pathways for rehabilitated detainees post release
1. Investing in over 4500 additional jobs for Canberrans
Creating and sustaining local jobs will be essential for our COVID economic recovery, and the Greens want to use this moment to invest in the green economy and build a stronger, 21st Century city and workforce. These 4500 additional jobs will be created by:
A Home For All
- Supporting approximately 3000 jobs over four years with our $400 million investment in affordable housing
- Approximately 20 ongoing jobs in community support to address housing insecurity and homelessness
Real Climate Action
- Creating an estimated 840 jobs in green building and retrofitting jobs through our $50 million Just Transition Fund to make our homes more comfortable and cheaper to run
- Setting up a new $200,000 per year Skills, Apprenticeships and Research-Industry Partnerships Fund to help industry deliver on a 10 year pathway to shift to world’s best practice on climate-ready and environmentally sustainable buildings
- Supporting housing and related trades industry workers to shift to a zero emissions future with training in energy efficiency skills as outlined in our Just Transition plan
- Kickstarting new industries in Canberra, such as big batteries, EV maintenance and energy efficiency upgrades, through major investments in these technologies
- Providing $20 million to help Canberra transition to get off gas
- Creating 200 jobs in waste management including through implementation of residential food and garden waste collection and large-scale composting by 2023
Urban Biodiversity Sanctuary
- Investing $21.5 million into tree-planting in the next four years with a commitment to reach 30% urban tree canopy cover by 2045
- Funding 10 new full time First Nations parks and conservation rangers
- Adding 6 rangers to support community conservation work and rural leaseholder programs
Modernising Our Public Transport
- Building seven large-scale cycling corridors and over 100 small upgrades to connect the gaps in our existing walking and cycling network
- Creating jobs with our City to Woden to Mawson light rail plans
- Employing new staff to administer our electric vehicles grants fund and install EV charging infrastructure that will create jobs in this emerging industry
A Stronger Democracy
- hiring approximately 14 new staff over four years to drive our Neighbourhood Democracy program
- creating approximately 6 jobs to implement our planning and heritage reforms
Supporting Our Community
- Creating 191 new jobs for early childhood educators as part of our guarantee of 15/hrs a week free childcare for three year olds
- Investing in the community sector by increasing funding for services in line with population and service demand growth
- Trialling three year contracts for 100 artists to give them a stable, secure income
- Employing 10 new mental health clinicians for young people
- Spending over $24 million on community sports facilities and upgrades to MTB and skatepark facilities
- Committing to development of specific programs to boost female enrolment and graduates in courses at CIT including IT, engineering and related courses
- Creating 16 new jobs in the community and public service to implement our First Nations initiatives, including a First Nations Social Justice Commissioner and staff in the Human Rights Commission
- Employing an endocrinologist, an intersex worker, a housing worker and a support worker in our Supporting our Queer Community package
- Doubling our annual investment in alcohol and other drug services, creating an estimated 100 jobs
- Strengthening our community clubs to diversify them away from gambling to other community activities - creating jobs in the process
- Investing over $20 million in our justice system, creating jobs to build safer communities not prisons, 6 new justice health nurses, and 8 new staff within the Human Rights Commission.
The Greens are committed to maintaining the current Jobs for Canberrans prioritisation of employing Canberrans who are otherwise ineligible for federal support programs, such as international students, provisional visa holders, and others.
2. Exploring options for a Territory Owned Job Provider
The ACT Greens will explore options for establishing a Territory Owned Job Provider, designed to support all Canberrans by:
- connecting unemployed people with jobs in the expanded Jobs for Canberrans program and contractors that engage with the ACT Government
- providing meaningful volunteer options in connection with VolunteeringACT
- linking jobseekers with options for study through CIT
- providing wrap-around case management, advocacy and referrals to support services that can help address underlying causes of unemployment
Australia is the only OECD country to outsource the entire delivery of its publicly funded employment services. These private companies are expected to profit greatly off the COVID pandemic employment crisis.
The current system is broken, leading to a ‘churn and park’ outcome - incentivising job providers to prioritise people who are most job ready into multiple, unsustainable positions so that providers receive placement payments, while the most disadvantaged job seekers do not get the assistance they need to address the issues causing them to remain unemployed.
This means that many Canberrans who need support to find work are not getting it. It also means that they may be penalised by the withdrawal of social supports and welfare which is tied to job seeking activity.
The Greens will commit $100,000 to scope potential options for providing better services to unemployed Canberrans without the profit motive that restricts the job provider offerings of private employment providers.
One such proposal for scoping is that the ACT Government or a Territory owned corporation would submit a tender bid to the Australian Government to provide Enhanced Services under the New Employment Services Model which is rolling out nationally from July 2022.
The ACT jobs provider would provide more localised pathways to employment, training, volunteering and links to services that can assist a person become more job ready.
The ACT provider would still comply with the requirements to establish service delivery plans and clients would need to comply with national mutual obligation requirements, but a dedicated service would be able to link in with the services and supports offered by the ACT Government and community sector to offer a much more holistic and wrap-around service to clients requiring enhanced services under the new model.
3. Implement a whole of government policy that government services will not be contracted out where they could be done by public servants
The Greens believe the increasing use of contractors by the ACTPS to deliver public functions needs to be stopped. Contracting work out means that expertise and continuity is lost from our Directorates. While contractors can often provide services more cheaply, a long term view reveals hidden costs in Directorate support of tendering, procurement and contract management processes.
a. Whole of government policy where the default position is that public functions are delivered by Government employees
The Greens want a whole of government policy that stipulates that the default position is that public functions are delivered by Government employees. The policy would make employing in-house the presumption, wherever appropriate, rather than contracting out, and would require senior executives to explain to Ministers why jobs should be outsourced when not doing this.
Such a policy would enable more strategic, long-term and cross-directorate approaches to service delivery which is more effective and efficient over the longer term. This would better align coordination of public functions and performance, and would enable more training throughout the whole of government for staff in areas that affect other areas’ work.
The ACT Government has recent experience of the benefits of this approach - through bringing school cleaners employment in-house. The school cleaners were previously disadvantaged by multiple contractors and subcontractors acting unfairly in relation to employment rights and conditions. These cleaners are now being directly employed by the Education Directorate, providing them certainty and improved conditions. This should next be examined for hospital cleaners, noting recommendation 34 of the Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs Inquiry into the Extent, Nature and Consequence of Insecure Work in the ACT that the ACT Government utilise direct employment as a default for service provision such as school and hospital cleaning.
Another possible area that could similarly be brought into the ACT public service is security guards (that are currently contracted out to provide services across a wide range of ACT Government office buildings and operational facilities); and further investigation of a range of existing small contracts across Transport Canberra and City Services could see for example, mowing contractors brought in house, so they would know what projects are underway on government land - rather than mowing over landcare restoration planting projects.
This approach may bring other savings to the Territory (in regards to frequent and numerous tender and procurement processes) but also less directly in improved efficiencies, consistency and quality of work while also creating more permanent jobs, which benefits the whole community.
b. Fixed-term temporary contracts to have a clearer, mandated pathway to permanent employment
The Greens also want people on fixed-term temporary contracts to have a clearer, mandated pathway to permanent employment. The Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Youth Affairs Inquiry into the Extent, Nature and Consequence of Insecure Work in the ACT found that in the ACT Public Service, the use of temporary employment is increasing. At the end of the 2016-17 financial year, 17.4% of the proportion of the total workforce was temporary, based on headcount. ACT Health in particular was noted to be particularly problematic in this regard, with over 20% of contracts being temporary.
This is despite the Public Sector Management Act prioritising permanent jobs. More needs to be done to address the trend towards employing staff on temporary contracts on a rolling basis.
The Greens will conduct review and implement, as appropriate, recommendations 32 and 33 of the Committee’s inquiry that fixed term contracts are not used and there are stronger policies preventing the use of rolling contracts in the ACTPS.
4. More pathways for rehabilitated detainees post release
The Greens believe that employment is a key pathway that can help people become empowered and more engaged within their community. The Greens want more job pathways for people leaving the Alexander Maconochie Centre as a key component of our reducing recidivism strategy. For example the Greens would like to see stronger and more consistent connections made between detainees exiting and opportunities with City Services to apprentice as urban rangers, and greater recognition of the skills that they may have learned during their rehabilitation. We want this approach to also expand to include a wider range of possible positions within the ACT Government over time that recognises the benefits to broader community safety of gainful employment for people with a history of incarceration.