Mine closures may ease pressure on the skills shortage in the sustainable energy sectors.

Downturn in some sectors may ease pressure on skills shortages in a diverse range of businesses in the sustainable energy sector, according to the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), the peak body for sustainable businesses in WA.

While the direct impact of mine closures is clearly of immediate and real concern to families, there are jobs for many waiting in a diverse range of businesses in the sustainable energy sector, according to the Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA), the peak body for sustainable businesses in WA.

"As Australia invests in energy efficiency and renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, new jobs will be created across all of the education, research, government, business and community sectors," says Dr Ray Wills, Chief Executive of WA SEA.

"In Western Australia, the Barnett Government made significant election commitments that can deliver substantial new initiatives for sustainable energy, and the downturn in the mining sector provides a significant opportunity to ramp up government action and create employment in new projects in regional Western Australia," says Dr Wills.

"Mr Barnet said his Government will encourage and support the development and uptake of renewable energy sources including wind, solar, geothermal and wave and tidal power, and deliver significant new public transport initiatives increasing the accessibility and attractiveness of public transport."

"At a time when responses to stimulate the economy are being sought, ramping up use of Western Australia's massive renewable energy resources will actually diversify the economy and create a more robust environment for business. And these opportunities are principally in regional Western Australia, and so will be developments that supports the alliance with the National Party by producing greater investment in regional WA, and better outcomes for communities in the bush."

"Last year, many businesses were challenged by skills shortages, and were competing with the mining industry for workers. At the time, all industry groups called on the government to increase skills training. This year, the downturn has delivered new capacity in the availability of skilled workers, and we must turn this into an economic opportunity to start projects that give people jobs. Some WA SEA members have a large number of positions still unfilled from last year."

"Diversifying our energy supply with renewables improves the State's energy security, provides new opportunities for business and employment, and grows WA's industry base - in the current economic climate these are all good business outcomes that can take up a good proportion of the new capacity in the workforce."

"We look forward to working with Colin Barnett and his Ministers as the Western Australian Government implements measures in that can help deliver a more sustainable economy for all Western Australians across all regions," says Dr Wills.

WA Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) Media Release - 22 January 2009

Media Contact:
Dr Ray Wills 0430 365 607

Editors notes:
1. The Western Australian Sustainable Energy Association Inc. (WA SEA) is a chamber of businesses that aspire to be more sustainable in their own energy use, or are providing the commercial solution to climate change through their products and services. WA SEA is supported by a growing membership of more than 200 industry members that includes the majority of the key energy players in Western Australia. www.wasea.com.au.

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