Jobs AND the Environment – no need to choose!

John PearceNews

Geelong Sustainability and ACF Community Geelong have just released the Roadmap To Zero Emissions:  Geelong Region Jobs Analysis, a research report that clearly presents the breadth and depth of employment opportunities across the Geelong region if we embrace the race to a net zero emissions economy.



The research project - The Roadmap to Zero Emissions: Geelong Region Job Analysis - was undertaken by Ironbark Sustainability, a national consultancy that works with councils and their communities to reduce greenhouse emissions, tackle climate change and implement sustainability programs.


Their methodology employed a new form of analysis to determine how many jobs could be created if policy and investment was targeted towards reducing emissions. The report builds on the Million Jobs Plan by Beyond Zero Emissions and shows what jobs could be created over the next five years.



  The Findings


The findings were amazing! With coordinated planning, more than 24,000 new jobs could be created in the next five years in various sectors from building retrofits, renewable energy generation, manufacturing and electric transport. The jobs would be created in the local government areas of the City of Greater Geelong, the Borough of Queenscliffe, Golden Plains Shire, Surf Coast Shire and Colac Otway Shire.



Total Zero Emissions Jobs in the Geelong region by sector


Conclusions from the project consultants


  • Setting ambitious zero emissions targets will drive investment and opportunity to the region.
  • Coordinated local, regional, and state government planning will support the transition to a zero emissions environment.
  • Emissions from all sectors (energy, transport, land use, waste, and industry) need to be considered.
  • The Geelong region is well placed to advocate for resources from the state and federal governments to realise these opportunities.





Our insights


President of Geelong Sustainability, Vicki Perrett said “we want Geelong to capture the economic opportunities from repositioning itself to benefit from a world in rapid transition. Around our region there are many exciting innovations from renewable installations, rooftop solar, community power hubs, wind farms, the Big Battery, and the circular economy. The time is now for us to work together to speed up and scale up the transition and realise the net zero jobs potential over the next five years. 

“Over 70% of the 24,000 jobs are in two sectors: 1) building - social housing & retrofits and 2) clean energy - renewable energy and its transmission. The balance will be found in electric buses and green transport, cleantech manufacturing, recycling and the circular economy and land use.”

Sally Fisher of ACF Community Geelong further endorsed the need for a co-ordinated approach at all levels of government. “The climate science is irrefutable so we must now make the transition to a decarbonised environment as smooth as possible to help create jobs on the ground and to help ensure Geelong’s economy is positioned for a zero emissions era.”


Stakeholder insights


Industry and community leaders have endorsed The Roadmap to Zero Emissions: Geelong region Jobs Analysis report as an important step in how the transition to renewables should proceed and how it is already playing out.




Jennifer Cromarty, CEO for the Committee for Geelong says, “the report will help the community to understand the economic opportunity to reach zero emissions while creating sustainable jobs in the economy”. “Last year our ‘Resilient Geelong’ report recommended this analysis be conducted as a pathway to a zero emissions, future proofed, local economy.

“Next year the Committee for Geelong will embark on a new strategy and we see this Roadmap to Zero Emissions report as a foundation for deeper analysis and a key action area for us for the next 3-4 years. “Part of that analysis could incorporate new 2021 Census data to update the report, and the potential to develop a business case to define the level of public and private investment required in the region to make these jobs a reality,” Ms Cromarty said.




Andy McCarthy, CEO of RACV Solar is already seeing firsthand jobs being created in the renewables sector.  “As this report shows, the entire supply chain creates a wonderfully diverse range of opportunities that are both sustainable and rewarding,” Mr McCarthy said. 

“In our business we have a wide range of skills and backgrounds – from electricians, software developers, engineers and drone pilots, to accountants, warehouse and logistics experts, and project managers.”




Colin Long, Transitions Officer with Victorian Trades Hall Council, said “the Jobs Analysis shows what a prosperous zero emissions Geelong could look like. There are many more job opportunities if we shift to a renewables-powered economy. 

But to make that happen we need to have the right policies in place and a well-funded plan that puts workers and their communities at the centre of the transition. Importantly, we have to take the advice of the UNFCCC and International Energy Agency seriously and put an end to new fossil fuel investments."


Analysis Methodology


  • The job numbers are calculated using the total national job numbers determined in BZE’s  Million Jobs Plan (MJP). These national job numbers were allocated to each local government area in Australia according to the relative capacity of each area to provide these jobs.  
  • The allocation is determined using a range of factors from 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics census data including population, the SEIFA index of socio-economic disadvantage, labour force, participation rate, job hours per capita and per worker and proximity to renewable energy, transportation, re-vegetation and industrial zones.

  • A formula using these factors was developed to distribute the total number MJP jobs to each local government area. The report provides information for the LGA’s in the Geelong region. See the attached tables.