The impact of climate change policy on jobs in the Hunter will be scoped as part of a new project designed to deliver a low carbon employment strategy for the region.
The University of Newcastle will join with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW to identify opportunities to create jobs as the Hunter region moves to low carbon industries.
NSW Premier Nathan Rees yesterday announced $250,000 funding for the Blueprint for a Low Carbon Future for the Hunter Valley Project.
The research component of the project will be led by Professors Mark Bray and John Burgess from the University of Newcastle's Faculty of Business and Law.
Professor Bray said the NSW Government funding was a valuable investment in the Hunter and would provide a critical blueprint for the region's future prosperity.
"The Hunter is renowned for its coal, electricity and energy intensive manufacturing industries. As the country moves to low carbon industries, it is vital to understand the capacity for these existing high carbon industries to make the transition and the opportunities for new industries.
"While there may initially be job losses as adjustments are made, there is also great opportunity for new jobs to emerge in the Hunter as the region develops a competitive sustainable low carbon manufacturing sector.
The Hunter's inventory of natural wind, solar and geothermal resources, its engineering, scientific and innovation capacity, and its skills base provide an excellent foundation for such investment in employment in the region."
Professor Bray said the Blueprint for a Low Carbon Future for the Hunter Valley Project would also identify priorities for action.
"By working with industry groups, local businesses and community organisations we will be able to identify public and private investment opportunities to maximise the region's share in green jobs," Professor Bray said.
The project will draw on the expertise of researchers across the University, including those in the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment.