Industry

Principles

The NSW Greens believe:

1. The Greens NSW believe that governments can and should continue to play an important role in promoting equitable, efficient and sustainable industry development.

2. The worldwide movement towards deregulation of economic activity often termed ‘globalisation’ does not eliminate the responsibility of governments to actively intervene in the economy to promote social and economic goals, although it may change the nature of such intervention.

3. NSW has an excellent opportunity to generate new, high quality manufacturing and maintenance jobs in clean energy and public transport. In order to ensure that these industries, which are essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, are high employment generators, industry policy settings will be required.

4. Deregulation of economic and financial markets has resulted in a concentration of economic power and wealth, both within and between countries, and has increased the influence of international factors on domestic decision making.

5. In Australia, this has resulted in increased debt and foreign ownership. It is important that governments act to oppose de-regulation to ensure the development of a sustainable savings base and to ensure that economic activity remains under the control of democratic, rather than purely market, mechanisms. 

6. The democratization of economic and financial systems requires an international approach. This requires both the NSW and Australian governments to stand in solidarity with developing nations, international labour movements and human rights, community and environment organizations to ensure that appropriate international regulatory mechanisms are developed.

7. The Greens NSW reject the assertion that the current move towards deregulation is ‘inevitable’. While international integration may require Governments to work cooperatively, governments have retained the primary role for establishing the rules of production, distribution and exchange, whether this is done through the operation of market mechanisms, or alternative mechanisms.

8. Unregulated market economies tend to undervalue the environment, produce unemployment, under-employment and great disparity in the distribution of wealth and to undermine the pay, conditions and security of many of those in employment. Government intervention is necessary to fulfil the goals of ecological sustainability and full employment.

9. Market forces are far from being perfect as a means of distributing output or determining production priorities, or methods. Without government intervention, capitalism tends to undervalue the cost of goods, including raw materials, energy and environmental damage. This in turn leads to unsustainable production and industrial practice. Unsustainable production, by definition, must end sometime. The Greens NSW understand the need to minimise the social impact of this transition and that the best way to achieve this is to control the process now, rather than face environmental and resources crises later.

10. Markets allocate decision making power on the basis of income and wealth. This excludes those with little or no economic resources the unemployed and low-income workers. They also exclude future generations. A democratically elected government has a crucial role to play in ensuring that important economic decisions are representative of the interests and wishes of the people.

11. Manufacturing industry requires high levels of public and private investment in research and development. Without it manufacturing and primary industries will decay or be dependent on imported technology and ideas.

12. The direct ownership of economic enterprises is an important element of any effective policy. Public ownership is often necessary in industries that are natural monopolies, are of national importance or have significant public good effects.

13. Public ownership can take a number of forms, including mutuals, credit unions or co-operatives. The company structure should not be regarded as the only form for commercial activity.

14. The present financial system dominated as it is by private capital, dedicated to the maximisation of profit, is not delivering, in an optimum way, finance to the nation. Foreign ownership of key assets is increasing. The sale of public assets to finance new infrastructure is unsustainable and damaging to the economy and the community.

15. Australia’s primary industries are not being managed sustainably. In order to compete on the worldwide commodity market, we sell resources very cheaply. Other developed nations, which do not depend heavily on resource export, have more incentive to protect their resources. Presently, Australia relies heavily on the export of non-renewable primary products such as minerals and native forests. Native forest exploitation is causing irreversible loss of habitat.  Moreover, agricultural products such as wheat, wool, cotton, sugar and meat are often produced in a manner devastating to Australia’s soils and waters. Fisheries have been over-exploited, some species reduced to levels at which recovery is in doubt.

16. Considerable growth is taking place in tourism. Advantages of this industry are that it is labour-intensive and can be ecologically sustainable. However, evidence is mounting that site deterioration can result from tourism pressure and rapid urbanization. Damage to our forests and coast is devaluing our main tourist asset - our image as an unspoilt country.

Aims

The Greens NSW will work to:

17. The development of more efficient, less polluting technology in both primary and secondary industry;

18. The development of an industrial base in clean energy technologies, public transport, high efficiency equipment and other sustainability technologies;

19. The use of the domestic market as an incubator for the export in sustainable technologies;

20. The transition of the NSW economy from low value added to higher value added;

21. A diversified economic base as a fundamental requirement for achieving desirable levels of both economic self-reliance and political self-determination both at a national and local level;

22. The elimination of monopolies [except public monopolies], cartels and foreign ownership in key areas such as the media, and at the same time encourage diversity, small business and worker share ownership;

24. The maintenance or restoration of natural monopolies and other essential services such as energy, water and telecommunications under public ownership;

23. Full employment for all in socially useful, safe and satisfying work;

25. Ensuring workers, preferably through their unions, have a guaranteed say in the development of all aspects of their industry;

26. Economic self-determination;

27. The protection of our industries from unfair competition and imported disease;

28. Ensuring that our primary industries are managed sustainably; and

29. The maintenance of an effective regulatory regime that protects interests of consumers particularly most the most vulnerable consumers and the environment.

Detail

General

30. The Greens NSW recognise that industry restructuring can have implications for social equity and the health and sustainability of communities.

31. We are committed to developing appropriate compensation and industry adjustment programs for affected communities and people. This process will involve:

31.1 Working with unions, industry representatives and local communities to identify alternative industries that can offer meaningful employment and economic sustainability for communities currently dependent on unsustainable production;

31.2 A focus on the manufacture of clean energy and public transport technologies that will be in demand as the world is forced to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

31.3 Examining alternative production techniques that improve the sustainability of existing industries, and recognise the ongoing need for environmental products;

31.4 Assisting industries which are environmentally unsustainable and low-value added, such as wood chipping, to move towards higher value-added production, and ensure that appropriate training is provided to allow the current workforce to gain employment in higher value-added production;

31.5 Ensuring the continued presence of key services such as postal, banking and telecommunications services in communities adversely affected by industrial and economic restructuring;

31.6 Ensuring the construction of necessary infrastructure and coordinating information exchange between related industries and unions to allow the development of sustainable industries, encouraging the development of upstream and downstream industries and facilitating the development of sustainable industry clusters; and

31.7 Providing high quality vocational education and training through the NSW TAFE system to ensure that workers can make adjustments to new industries. 

Industrial Investment

32. The Greens NSW recognise the sometimes destructive process of inter-state competition for new industrial investment. The Greens NSW will act to ensure that subsidies and incentives offered to industries deliver real returns to the community and are not greater than the minimum required to allow important industries to continue to function. 

This will be achieved by:

32.1 Seeking a unified approach with other states;

32.2 Undertaking careful evaluation of the future benefits derived from any industry incentive, including the assessment of public alternatives that may allow the industry to develop; and

32.3 Seeking to prevent NSW industry as a whole being disadvantaged.

33. The Greens NSW will:

33.1 Encourage the diversification of industry within communities to ensure economic sustainability;

33.2 Address regional unemployment and promoting full employment by incubating high employment industries in areas of high unemployment and under-employment;

33.3 Reduce pollution and resource use levels substantially at least in accordance with internationally agreed levels;

33.4 Help people in less developed countries build ecologically sustainable livelihoods by encouraging the exchange of technology and expertise from developed countries, supporting the development of production for domestic consumption and introducing preferential trade agreements for sustainable industries in developing countries;

33.5 Encourage industries which add value to resources, with the aim of reducing our dependence on resource export and the pressure on our resources;

33.6 Introduce an industry policy, together with economic goals to stimulate savings, investment and employment, and resource our long-term debt;

33.7 Work with industry groups and unions to develop incentives and remove hindrances (both financial and non-financial) to industries and technologies which are unsustainable to facilitate the move to sustainability, resource efficiency and better environmental practice;

33.8 Develop disincentives to industries and technologies which are non-renewable, low value-adding and environmentally damaging and will initiate plans for people affected by these disincentives and discourage imported replacements for the products of such industries. The same principles apply to domestic industries that are government-run, including water, mass transport and waste disposal;

33.9 Develop framework plans covering incentives, disincentives and timetables for the industries of energy, mining, chemicals, agriculture, forestry, fishing, manufacturing, transport, waste management and water;

33.10 Provide incentives for the processing of Australian renewable raw materials under strict environmental guidelines;

33.11 Support Federal initiatives to protect Australian industry against dumping by subsidised overseas producers;

33.12 Reject any interference that reduces our capacity to care for our citizens and the environment such as the rules that imposed by bilateral  and multilateral trade  agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP);

33.13 Pass legislation that allows a defined percentage of Superannuation Funds to be used for Industry development or research within Australia;

33.14 Impose tariffs and import quotas on a case by case basis to prevent unfair competition and to encourage environmentally sustainable production and the growth of manufacture for export;

33.15 Require governments to purchase their needs from local sources first and encourage private industry to buy locally as a first resort. 

Minerals and Energy

The Greens NSW will work to:

34. Develop substitutes for coal such as renewable energy technology, and also energy conservation initiatives;

35. Set time-bound and costed targets for increases in the proportion of energy derived from renewable sources such as solar and wind;

36. Provide incentives for community-based, distributed and local electricity generation utilising genuine renewable energy sources, heat that would otherwise be wasted (co-generation) or fuels that are genuine waste products. The Greens are opposed to the use of  native forestry materials for energy generation (see Energy Policy) 

37. Develop long-term plans for the restructuring of the energy and mining sectors which will result from the progressive substitution of renewable energy and sustainable technology for traditional energy sources and uses;

38. Encourage increased investment in reuse, recycling and environmental technology;

39. Remove incentives and subsidies for fossil fuel mining and use;

40. Ban mining and exploration in conservation areas, parks and World Heritage areas;

41. Maintain a ban in NSW on the exploration, mining, import and export of uranium;

42. Establish a ban on all aspects of a nuclear industry in NSW other than non-reactor medical technologies;

43. Ensure all mining and other development proposals under NSW jurisdiction will be accompanied by a bond sufficient to ensure site rehabilitation;

44. Establish domestic and export markets for renewable energy technology; and

45. Strengthen legislative and financial disincentives to substantially reduce industry pollution and environmental damage resulting from the exploitation of fossil fuels and minerals.

Agriculture and Fisheries

The Greens NSW will work to:

46. Strengthen incentives for the introduction of sustainable land-use practices;

47. Prevent fresh water and in-shore water pollution caused by fertilizers and other agricultural inputs;

48. Retire and rehabilitate marginal lands from pastoral or agricultural use; and

49. Facilitate the recovery and sustainable use of fisheries in the State’s jurisdiction.

37. an end to the live-animal export trade and the provision of upfront industry assistance to speed the transition out of the industry; and

38. an immediate end to all live stock transport practices that are inhumane.

Forestry

50. The Greens NSW support the development of an ecologically sustainable forest industry based on mixed species plantations 

Industry Waste 

The Greens NSW will work to:

51. Support moves to comply with international protocols and standards for reduction of Greenhouse and ozone- depleting gases;

52. Introduce a government funded and coordinated policy to ecologically sensitive areas which require greater management and research expenditure to prevent congestion, over-use and degradation;

53. Encourage water conservation by a combination of incentives for discouraging waste production and encouraging waste recycling, and conservation and pro-rata water use charges on domestic, industrial and irrigation supplies;

54. Discourage solid and liquid waste production and encourage waste recycling by the design of processes that are based on zero waste production and mandate that waste is designed out of all new industrial processes; (in consumer rights policy)

56. Encourage manufacturers to adopt a “whole life cycle” approach to resource management;

57. Introduce heavy penalties for industrial pollution with guilt based on “the balance of probabilities” and introduction of criminal penalties for corporate managers responsible for cases of gross industrial pollution;

58. Community assistance for manufacturers and producers to deal with hazardous and intractable waste;

59. Encourage recycling in industry;

60. Reduce waste and introduce Container Deposit Legislation;

61. Reduce packaging to a minimum by making manufacturers responsible for its final disposal; and

62. Ensure provision by the public sector of goods and services that are not adequately provided by the private sector, such as banking, insurance, country air services, and pharmaceuticals.

Monopolies

The Greens NSW will work to:

63. Introduce anti-trust legislation to break up existing private monopolies and prevent the future development of private monopolies; and

64. Ensure regulation of ownership and structure of industry to protect social and environmental principles from being compromised.

Manufacturing

65. The Greens NSW recognise that manufacturing industries are an important source of export revenue and high quality jobs and are crucial to achieving economic self-reliance.

66. Manufacturing industries are more easily decentralised, often offer high-wage jobs and provide essential products. However, some forms of manufacturing are unacceptably energy-intensive, highly polluting and ecologically unsustainable.

The Greens NSW will work to:

Position NSW as a leading manufacturer of clean energy and energy efficient technologies. 

66.1. Develop close working relations with industry and union representatives of existing manufacturing industries and develop mechanisms to move these industries to a more sustainable footing;

66.2. Develop appropriate regulatory structures, incentives, training, research and investment plans to allow the development of manufacturing industries which are high value added, research intensive and sustainable;

66.3. Support the development of manufacturing in regional centres in order to facilitate a less centralized population base and to support the sustainability of regional communities;

66.4. Support continued productivity improvements, the equitable distribution of the resulting increase in income, and the option for workers to take their share of productivity bonuses in the form of shorter working hours as well as higher pay;

66.5. Support small manufacturing businesses through collaboration, information exchange, the development of common training programs, recognizing the importance of the spatial distribution of such industries and developing other policies as appropriate;

66.6. Work with unions and industry representatives to ensure the future employment of workers whose industries are in decline or have a declining workforce;

66.7. Work with unions and industry representatives to examine the impacts of ecologically sustainable policies in other industries (such as the energy industry) to help minimize disruption to manufacturing industries; and

66.8. Ensure that the funding of NSW TAFE is restored and the so-called Smart and Skilled entitlements market is disbanded to ensure that public vocational education can support a modern and internationally competitive manufacturing industry.