About 50,000 sustainable jobs could be created in the Hunter Region over the next five years as a result of a rapid expansion of renewable energy-based projects and zero-emissions industries, a new analysis has found.
The Million Jobs Plan, produced by the climate change think tank Beyond Zero Emissions, argues the shift to a clean electricity grid is inevitable and a unique opportunity exists to accelerate it as part of the post-COVID-19 recovery.
Manufacturing zero emission buses, retrofitting homes and businesses with renewable technologies, creating new markets for coal ash resources, land rehabilitation projects and the manufacture of green steel are among the growth opportunities that exist in the Hunter, according to the report.
But the plan, put together by a panel including Ross Garnaut, Malcolm Turnbull and the Australia Institute's chief economist Richard Denniss, cautions many of these projects will only get off the ground if investors are sent an unequivocal signal that Australia supports large scale renewables.
"The Million Jobs Plan proposes nation-building, transformative projects that can upgrade our economy, modernise our industry, reskill our workforce and deliver a bright and vibrant future - economically and socially," BZE principal researcher Dr Dominique Hes said.