• The Greens are calling on the Morrison Government to keep welfare payments at it's current rate and not reverse it after COVID, as they release their plan. (AAP)Source: AAP
The national Greens party has released its plan for the country’s economic recovery post-COVID-19, which includes free education and transforming Australia into running on 100 per cent renewable energy.
Rangi Hirini

20 May 2020 - 2:53 PM  UPDATED 20 May 2020 - 3:00 PM

Job guarantee, free education, and secure income are all part of the new Greens recovery plan to build ‘a better normal’ and restart the economy after the coronavirus economic hit.

The Invest to Recover plan is part of the Green New Deal approach which prioritises young people and older people who are nearing the retirement age. 

Greens Community Services Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert told NITV News the party's recovery plan is about refocusing on where the country is going as we move out of the pandemic.

“It [the recovery plan] provides the opportunity to reset things, both in terms of where we're going as a community but we also know that we need to invest to make sure that we're promoting both jobs for people by also ensuring that people have a secure future,” Ms Siewert said.

The WA Senator said there would also be a lot of opportunities for First Nation's people through environmental jobs, and the free education would give Indigenous people the opportunity to study with no limitations.

"The proposal that the Aboriginal peak organisations of the Northern Territory have generated, in terms of training and economic development, is an excellent example of where you can generate jobs and promote training not only in remote communities but regional communities and obviously for First Nations peoples," said Ms Siewart.

"I would say that there's quite a lot of work opportunities and job opportunities in caring for country. A lot of the focused of the investment that we're proposing is in biodiversity and environmental programs and that fits very closely with the very strong Caring for Country programs that are already operating so expanding and enabling opportunities there as well," she said. 

The recent ABS data from April has shown that nearly 4 in 10 young people are now without a job or enough hours of work, under the Green’s plan young people have been prioritised.

“We're also looking at what we call the next-gen guarantee, which says to young people, you can either have a guaranteed income and/or study, train, or work. And we're also saying that government has to guarantee that if you want a job you get a job,” she said.  

Ms Siewert also gave credit to the Morrison government for doubling the job seeker payment but insisted the payment should not be reversed.

“We want to retain the rate,” she said.

“The concern we have is as we come out of it, the government's talking about putting job seeker again to $40 a day- that's unacceptable. We also know that the employment situation is not going to suddenly rebound on the 25th of September when these programs cut out."

The key elements of the Greens plan include creating 870,000 jobs through projects that will build new energy infrastructure; 500,000 new public and community homes; free tertiary education for anyone under 30; $2.3billion investment into the entertainment and creative industry; and establish a $6.7 billion Nature Fund to clean up our natural environment which would create 13,000 jobs.

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